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Full text of "Reading Naturalist."

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The Reading Naturalist 



No. 19 




Published by the Reading and District 
Natural History Society 
1967 



31 < 



■/,- 



&AL $£ 



Price to Non-Members 
Two Shillings and Sixpence 



-1- 



THE READING NATURALIST 
No. 19 for the year 1965-66 

The Journal of 
The Reading and District Natural History 
Society 

President : 

Mr. Brian R. Baker 
B.Sc, F.M.A., F.R.E.S. 



Hon. General Secretary: 

Mrs. V. A. Phillips 
42 Alexandra Road 
Reading 



Editor: 

Mr. D. Leatherdale 
Eastfield Lodge 
Whitchurch 
Oxon. 



Editorial Sub-Committee: 

The Editor, B. R. Baker, Miss L. E. Cobb, A. Price, 
Mrs. A. M. Simmonds, Miss S. Y. Townend 



Botany: 

Entomology: 
Geology: 

Mammals : 

Ornithology; 



Honorary Recorders: 

Mrs. B. M. Newman, Earley Cottage, 25 Beech Lane, 
Earley, Reading 

Mr. B. R. Baker, 71a Berkeley Avenue, Reading 

Professor H. L. Hawkins, F. R. S., 63 Tilehurst 
Road, Reading 

Mr. H. H. Carter, 82 Kennylands Road, Sonning 
Common, Oxon. 

Dr. E. V. Watson, Little Court, Cleeve, 
Goring-on-Thames , Oxon. 



Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire 
Naturalists' Trust: 

Hon. County Secretary (Berks.): Mr. B. R. Baker, The Museum, 

Reading 



-3- 



CONTENTS 




Page 



Meetings and Excursions, 1965-66 

Presidential Addresses: 

The recurrence of spawn of albino 
frogs ( Rana temporaria L.) in 
Reading in 1965-66 

Bats of the Reading area 

The flora of the waterways of Reading 

Juniper Valley: some observations 
and problems 

Weather Records in 1966 

Honorary Recorders' Reports: 
Entomology 
Botany 
Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibia 

Fungi at Kingwood Common 19^5-66 

General observations: 

The immature stages of 

Bufo bufo (L.) 

Destruction of Crocus flowers 

Destruction of Pasque-flower blooms E. 

The natural history of mammals 

Effects of oil pollution on 
Sticklebacks ( Gasterosteus spp.) 

Plants in Abbey Square, Reading 
List of Members 



A. 


Price 


5 


M. 


G. 


Hardy 


Ik 


A. 


M. 


Simmonds 


18 


H. 


H. 


Carter 


21 


A. 


E. 


Moon 


30 


B. 


R. 


Baker 


32 


B. 


M. 


Newman 


35 


H. 


H. 


Carter 


40 


E. 


M. 


Nelmes 


k5 


L. 


E. 


Cobb 





A. 


Price 


51 


L. 


E. Cobb 


52 


E. 


M. Nelmes 


52 


M. 


G. Hardy 


52 


H. 


Carter 


53 


A. 


M. Simmonds 


5^ 



35 



Meetings and Excursions, 1965-66 

The first meeting of the winter season was the Annual 
General Meeting, at which Mr. A. Price gave his Presidential 
Address, on "The Recurrence of Albino Frog Spawn in Reading" (*f4). 
One evening was devoted to members' exhibits and communications 
(39) » one to a brains trust (26) and one to the Berkshire, 
Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Naturalists' Trust film and 
talks about the Trust's work (50). The lectures given at the 
remaining meetings were "Nature Photography", by D. W. Irvin (^-0); 
"Meteorites", by Dr. M. Hey (3^)» "Birds in an Essex Wood", by 
Mrs. R. Upton (38); "Why Insects are Pests", by Dr. H. F. van 
Emden (2^f); "The Natural History of the Badger", by J. Sankey 
(86); "Moths, Birds and Predation", by J. Cadbury (37), and 
"Mountain Flowers", by Miss M. G. Hodgman (57). 

Winter walks and outings were held on 6th November, Goring 
Heath to Pangbourne; ^th December, Thames-side from Scours Lane 
to Cow Lane; 1st January, Museum of English Rural Life; 
3th February, Ashley Hill, and 5th March, Mortimer (for mosses). 

The summer field meetings were as follows: 2nd April, 
Burghfield; l6th April, Whitchurch; 30th April, Gre?thouse 
Wood, Bradfield; 14th May, Medmenha.m to Hambleden; 28th May, 
Ashley Hill; 11th June, Goring Heath to Pangbourne; 25th June, 
Parnber Forest; 29th June, Dunsden; 9th July, Lower Assenden; 
13th July, Little John's Farm (for water life); 23rd July, 
Hazeley Heath; 27th July, Nunhide Lane; 6th August, Swallowfield ; 
20th August, Woolhampton; 3rd September, Chobham Common (marsh 
gentian); 2^-th September, Aldermaston Soke; 1st October, 
Southlake, Earley; 15th October, fungus foray at Kingwood Common. 

The annual Young Naturalists' Evening was held on 21st March 
in the Large Town Hall. The audience of 500 Reading school 
children heard Dr. F. E. Hora , Dr. Max Hey, Mr. Robert Gillmor and 
Mr. W. A. Smallccmbe answer questions selected from the 775 
submitted and presented to them by the .^uestionmaster Mr. J. F. 
Newman. Winners of the eight prizes, given by the Natural History 
Society, were: Wendy Barlow, Geoffr -7 Field Junior School (9 yrs . ) , 
Julia Bartlett, Alfred Sutton Secondary Girls' School (11 yrs . ) , 
Helen Berry, Grov^lands Primary School (10 yrs.), Timothy Cole, 
Manor Junior School (10 yrs.), Colin Deacon, St. Michael's 
Primary School (11 yrs.), John Forys, Redlands Primary School 
(10 yrs.), Lynette Ridgley, Cintra Secondary School, (14 yrs.), 
Beatrice Tansey, St. Joseph's Convent Preparatory School (10 yrs . ) 
They received their prizes from the Right Worshipful the Mayor of 
Reading, Alderman Mrs. A. J. Burrows, who then joined the 
children to watch the film "Wild Highlands". 



-5- 

THE RECURRENCE OF SPAWN OF ALBINO FR OGS (RANA TEMPORARIA L [) 

IN READING IN 19&5-66 

Based on the Presidential Addresses to 
the Reading Natural History Society for 1965 an ^ 1966 

By Arthur Price 

White frog spawn was found on 24th March 1965 in the garden 
of Mr. and Mrs. Masterman, 11, Buxton Avenue, Caver-sham, Reading, 
where a light coloured frog had been seen in the gardens a few 
days previously. Some of this spawn was taken to many schools 
in Reading by the children of Mr. and Mrs. Alderman, 
19, Clifton Park Road, Caversham, and I was given on 2nd April 
about fifty newly hatched tadpoles by Mrs. B. Newman from those 
which hatched in the animal room at Kendrick Girls' School 

The word 'recurrence' is used in the title because of the 
work done by Mr. W. A. Smallcombe. His paper on 'Albinism in 
Rana temporaria ' should be read. The word 'albino' means that 
the animal in question has a congenital deficiency of pigment 
in the skin, hair and eyes so that the skin is white and the 
eyes pinko 

It seems likely that the 1965/6 albino spawn is closely 
linked genetically with the 1938 albino spawn. Tadpoles which 
hatched from the 1938 spawn were given to the late Mr. C. Runge, 
a dedicated naturalist, who possibly released some of the 
resulting frogs in his garden, which was not very far from 
Buxton Avenue. 

The 1965 albino spawn proved to be fertile and hatched on 
1st April. The newly hatched tadpoles were white with grey eyes. 
The grey colour of the eyes and the subsequent, progressive 
pigmentation of the tadpoles and frogs can be explained by the 
fact that the frogs in question have a recessive gene for 
albinism (Smallcombe 19^9)* 

I placed my batch of tadpoles in a glass laboratory tank 
7" x 5" x 5" on a white background. Small tanks facilitate 
close observation. In the early stages, even after the external 
gills disappeared, the tadpoles remained at the bottom of the 
tank. When artificially stimulated they swam, but in a very 
sluggish manner. 

They fed on filamentous algae but at first seemed to prefer 
detritus. By 6th April, they were swimming freely and feeding 



-6- 

readily on Canadian Pondweed ( Elodea canadens is Michx.). The 
eyes had by this time darkened and pigment had begun to pepper the 
dorso-lateral region of the body. On 9th April the tadpoles swam 
to the surface, but not for the purpose of respiration. 

On 11th April, thirty-six tadpoles remained alive and three 
degrees of pigmentation could be distinguished. One specimen was 
quite dark, the majority were peppered with pigment in the region 
of the peritoneum and two were very light in colour with little 
or no pigment . 

On ^th April some fresh Canadian Pondweed was placed in the 
tank and shortly afterwards a newly hatched, predatory water bug, 
Ilyocoris cimicoides L., was removed from the tank before it had 
a chance to attack the small tadpoles. The bug had evidently 
been introduced with the pond weed as an egg. 

Owing to their increase in size, the tadpoles were divided 
into two lots on 15th April. Nineteen dark specimens were placed 
in one tank and the fifteen lighter ones in another. It was 
noticeable that the tadpoles' tails were asymmetrical. 

On l8th April two tadpoles were seen feeding en the carcase 
of a dead one. As a result of this observation, some small 
pieces of meat were placed in both tanks. Some of this meat was 
eaten by the tadpoles. 

Tadpoles which had hatched from normal, black-centred spawn 
were kept as controls in a third, tank, also on a white background. 
As a result, they became very light on the fore-parts and could 
only be told from the albino tadpoles with difficulty. 

Periodically the water in all the tanks was changed. Water 
was run from the tap and left to stand for about twenty-four 
hours to allow the chlorine to pass out of it. The tadpoles were 
transferred from one tank to the other in a table spoon. 

Meat was now being added regularly in the form of bacon rind, 
luncheon meat, liver and, later, chopped worms, which proved to 
be very acceptable. 

By 11th May, the tadpoles began to come to the surface of 
the water to take in gulps of air. The normal ones seemed to 
come to the surface less often than the albinos. 

Three first-instar larvae of the Screech Beetle ( Hygrobia 
hermanni F.) were removed from one tank on l?th May. Again the 
eggs must have been introduced with the waterweed placed in the 



-7- 

tank for food and oxygenation. At this stage the tadpoles were 
well developed and the dorso-lateral region was fairly heavily 
pigmented. The fore-parts, however, were still transparent and 
the details of the internal anatomy could be distinguished. By 
28th May, some tadpoles had developed back legs and a reddish 
tinge could be seen in the region of the gills due to the 
presence of haemoglobin in the blood. The black pigment was 
densest in the region of the peritoneum. 

On 1st June some tadpoles were seen with exaggerated kinks 
in their tails. It had been stated earlier by Smallcombe that 
this had the effect of distorting the urostyle in some adult 
frogs. Drinks of air were now taken much more frequently by all 
the tadpoles. 

At this stage, when not one of my tadpoles had 
metamorphosed, it was reported from Caversham Primary School 
that four small frogs had been released in the Thames. As far 
as could be ascertained, these tadpoles had not been given meat 
as food; this seems to suggest that cannibalism might be a 
superior method of rearing frogs. 

By 7th June, my tadpoles were developing back legs and the 
elbows of the front legs showed very clearly. By 8th June, the 
front legs had sprouted and the frogs as they metamorphosed were 
pla.ced in an earthenware laboratory tank I0 1 /2 n in diameter and k u 
deep containing turf, a flat piece of marble as a rock and a 
petri dish as a pond. From the time the frogs acquired four 
legs to the time that the tail was reabsorbed, no food was taken. 

All frogs had metamorphosed by 15th July and they were 
divided into two groups in 10" earthenware tanks. The seven 
large frogs comprised one group, so that the smaller ones could 
have sufficient food. A larger, glass laboratory tank, 
16" x 11" x 11" , was obtained on 30th July and the nine larger 
frogs were placed in it. This tank had the floor covered with 
turf, and a pond in the form of a petri dish in one corner to 
keep the tank humid and to allow the frogs to immerse themselves; 
a 6" square tile was used as a feeding place. The tank was 
covered with a piece of glass containing a *f" round hole through 
which insects could be pushed without losing the food already 
in the tank. The five smaller, less well nourished frogs, were 
kept in one of the 10" laboratory tanks so that they would be 
able to obtain sufficient food. An attempt was made at this 
stage to sex the frogs, but no external differences were 
apparent . 

Every year in schools, thousands of frogs approach 
metamorphosis but few survive due to a lack of suitable food and 



-8- 

the lack of provision of suitable vivaria. I felt that aphids 
would constitute a suitable diet for the newly metamorphosed 
frogs and found that, in fact, they were readily eaten by the 
frogs when their tails had been reabsorbed. Aphids, Microlophium 
evansi (Theobald), from Stinging Nettle ( Urtica dioica L.) were 
collected by tapping the heads of nettle plants into a petri 
dish. During wet weather it was found more convenient to collect 
the aphid, Drepanosiphum platanoidis (Schrank), from the leaves 
of Sycamore ( Acer platanoides L.). As the frogs became larger 
and a.te more, it was found more convenient to tap the nettles into 
a white enamel tray and then to tip the contents into a petri 
dish. The few small spiders and Heteroptera taken in this way 
were also eaten by the frogs. 

By 7th August the frogs were larger and consequently 
hungrier, so an alternative source of food had to be found. The 
Capsid bug Megalocoleus molliculus (Fall.) was found in numbers 
on Tansy ( Chrysanthemum vulgare (L.) ). It was supplemented by 
another Capsid bug, Stenodema laevigatum (L.), which was beaten 
from grass . 

Later in August, spiders became the main source of food. 
They were beaten from low lying vegetation on to a white enamel 
tray and sucked up with a pooter. Later a beating tray was used. 
The size of spider eaten by the frogs increased as the frogs 
grew. At first the spider Theridion ovatum Clerck predominated, 
but at a later stage spiders as large as - Meta segmentata Clerck. 
were eaten, and they also ate Xysticus cristatus Clerck. , 
Linyphia triangularis Clerck., and Tibellus obl^ngus Walckenaer. 
The frogs in their second year took spiders as large as Araneus 
diadematus Clerck., even when swollen with eggs in the autumn. 

One species of centipede, Geophilus longicornis Leach was 
readily taken and so were green caterpillars from nettle, but 
sawfly caterpillars were immediately rejected. In September some 
Nettle Ground Bugs ( Heterogaster urticae (F.) were used as food. 
This was a most convenient bug to collect, as it congregates in 
large numbers on the heads of nettles. 

In late September, small earthworms were accepted but the 
speed with which the Worms disappeared into the turf limited the 
number eaten. Although few maggots bought as fishing bait were 
taken, the blow-flies emerging from the pupae were not so readily 
eaten. 



-9- 



Four methods of feeding were observed: 

A. The frog's tongue was flipped out and the prey was carried 
back to the mouth. 

B. When the prey was a little further away, the frog swayed 
its body forward but its feet maintained contact with the 
ground. Then the tongue operated as before. 

C. The frog leaped at its prey, sometimes rolling over after 
catching the food it was pursuing. 

D. When attempting to capture a worm which had surfaced after 
burrowing in the turf, the frog tumbled over backwards 
immediately after seizing the worm to prevent it from 
anthoring itself. 



The sharpness of hearing of a frog was clearly demonstrated 
on 7th May. A frog was watching a worm which was wriggling in 
front of it. I dropped another worm immediately behind the frog 
where it could not be seen. As soon as the worm moved on the 
white tile, the rubbing of the setae on the tile caused the frog 
to turn around and eat the second worm. 

Sometimes a frog 'set' on an insett prior to attacking it. 
Other frogs would also 'set' in sympathy, although it was obvious 
that they could not see that insect. 

On 23rd October 19&5* fourteen frogs which had developed 
from the 19^5 albino spawn, being between 33 mm. and kl ram. in 
length and weighing between 3 and 7 gm»» were allowed to 
hibernate in a glass laboratory tank 15" x 11" x 11" containing 
loose turfs which had been soaked in water. The tank was placed 
in an indoor, darkened cellar which was not heated. Some food 
was placed in the tank. By 31st October all the frogs were found 
to be suffering from the effects of desiccation. They were all 
limp and their limbs were outstretched. The frogs, which were 
capable of movement, moved in a spasmodic manner. All fourteen 
frogs were immersed in water; six recovered and eight died. 
The hibernation tank had not contained sufficient water. The 
six frogs which recovered were returned to the same tank but 
water 2 - 3" in depth was placed in it. 

At no time were the frogs which hibernated torpid. The same 
applies to the eighteen frogs which are hibernating in the winter 
of 1966. 



-10- 

On 12th February 19^6, two frogs were obtained from Robert 
Howard, a technician in the Zoology Department of Reading 
University. He had bred them from tadpoles which he obtained 
from Kendrick Girls' School. They were 15 mm. long and 0.5 gm. 
in weight. One died within a week but the other, which was 
christened Uno, survived and on 10th September 1966 weighed 
30 gm. and was 60 mm. in length. This was an extremely high 
rate of growth for a period of only seven months. Uno had 
developed from a tadpole with a kink in her tail and consequently 
had distortion of the urostyle and asymmetry of the pelvic girdle 
This resulted in uncoordinated movement of the back legs. In 
the field the resulting lack of mobility would militate against 
survival. 

On 27th February 1966 , the six surviving frogs were brought 
out of hibernation and placed in the 15" x 11" x 11" tank with 
turf and a pond. They ranged from A-0 mm. to 31 mm. long. They 
were fed on small woodlice, Oniscus asellus L. , owing to the 
scarcity of other arthropods at so early a date. A few small 
earthworms were accepted. 

As the weather improved and the frogs increased in size, 
they were fed on spiders, millipedes, beetles, caterpillars 
(including those of the Small Angle Shades Moth, Euplexia 
lucipara L. , taken on ferns), earthworms and commercial maggots. 
Whilst they were feeding on worms their rate of growth was very 
rapid. 

On 7th July 1966 a successful attempt was made to sex the 
seven frogs. One male was identified by the nuptial pads which 
showed clearly on the ventral surface of the anterior thumbs. 
The other six were females. It is of interest at this stage to 
compare the nuptial pads of frogs and toads and to think about 
the reasons for the difference in their positi n. In the frog 
the pads are ventral whilst in the toad they are dorsal. What 
difference should there be in the grip of the males during 
amplexus? By 12th August it was noticed that although the frogs 
increased in weight there was no appreciable increase in length. 
This seemed to suggest that the gonads were developing. 

On *fth September a successful attempt was made to identify 
individual frogs. As the markings of frogs seemed to present 
insurmountable difficulties, a suggestion made by Mr. Michael 
Hardy, of the Reading University Zoology Department, was tried 
out. The frogs which developed from the albino spawn had 
acquired patches of black pigment which centred on the glands on 
their backs. Drawings were made of the black marks and the 
individual patterns proved to be diagnostic. The 1966 frogs are 



-11- 

similarly marked. 

It has been postulated that large frogs could turn cannibal. 
This was proved on 2^-th August 19&6, when two newly metamorphosed 
frogs about 12 mm. in length were inadvertently placed in the same 
tank ^s some larger frogs about 60 mm. in length. Both the small 
frogs were eaten immediately by one of the large frogs. When 
one thinks of the vast numbers of newly metamorphosed frogs 
which swarm around the ditches and ponds before they disperse, 
it seems highly likely that a considerable number of such frogs 
are eaten by their larger relations. Two samples of newly 
metamorphosed frogs totalling seventy frogs which were taken 
near a ditch near Little John's Farm, Reading, in July 1966 
were weighed and measured. Little variation was found; they 
averaged 12 mm. in length and 0.15 gm. in weight. 

On 28th March 19&6, albino spawn was again laid in the 
artificial pond in the garden of 11, Buxton Avenue, possibly by 
the same female frog. (If this frog returns to the pond in 
1967, I hope to photograph it.) The 1966 albino spawn was laid 
in one clump, 600 ml. in volume and containing approximately 
3»000 eggs. The large number of eggs in the clump suggests 
that a very large female frog was responsible. During a visit 
to the Collier's Claypit in Tilehurst on 20th March 19&6, a mass 
of frog spawn 5' x 2*6" x V' was found in one section of ditch, 
although many seemingly more suitable ditches were not used for 
oviposition. As many as 1,250 eggs were counted in a sample of 
spawn 250 ml. in volume, and from this figure it was deduced 
that there were 200,000 eggs in the patch, and that 
approximately 120 female frogs had laid in this one ditch, 
which was in danger of drying up. My sister and I, on an errand 
of mercy, dispersed 30 litres of spawn. 

On 3rd April 1966, 95 per cent of the spawn was seen to be 
hatching. Albino spawn would take a Very long time to hatch in 
the field owing to the fact that light would be almost totally 
reflected by the white egg. On 8th April, embryos 7 mm* long 
were hatching; they had grey eyes but no other pigment. 
Development proceeded as in 1965* When metamorphosis commenced, 
the t^ipni.es periodically surfaced in order to take gulps of 
air. Before they take in air they first of all release a 
bubble. These bubbles collect on the surface of the water. 

On 28th April 1966 , following prolonged sunshine, it was 
noticed that the tadpoles, which by now had become heavily 
pigmented, became transparent about two hours after sunset. It 
seems as if the bright sunshine had caused the melanophores to 
contract. The delay was due to the fact that the ohange in the 



-12- 

melanophores is effected by the endocrine system. After the 
melanophores had contracted, the internal anatomy (especially 
the nervous system) was to be seen clearly. 

Some of the frogs completed metamorphosis in June and were 
placed in a vivarium. It was found that during metamorphosis 
they lost 50 per cent of their weight. No food is taken from 
the time that the frogs develop four legs until the tail is 
reabsorbed. The loss of weight could be accounted for by the 
energy used during the changes. 

The developing frogs, which hatched from the albino spawn 
laid in 19&5 an< ^ 19&6, were weighed and measured at monthly 
intervals and the gains in weight have been recorded as 
percentages. Because these frogs have been bred in very 
favourable conditions, comparable figures were sought in the 
field. During this operation, 179 frogs and 339 toads were 
weighed, measured, and then released. 

The seven frogs bred from the 1965 albino spawn were weighed 
and measured before being allowed to hibernate on 12th November 1966 
They averaged 60 mm. in length and the weights ranged from 27 gm. 
to kO gm. They will be weighed and measured again when they 
emerge from hibernation. These frogs should bree d precociously 
in the spring of 19&7 1 their second year. Due to intensive 
feeding, their weights and lengths are those of fourth year 
frogs. 

The eleven frogs bred from the 1966 albino spawn, ranging 
from 30 mm. to 4-5 mru in length and 3*7 gm. to 10.5 gm. in weight., 
were also allowed to hibernate. They also will be weighed and 
measured when they come out of hibernation. On 26th December 
all the frogs were in good condition. 

A greenhouse 8' x 7' and a frog house 9' x 6' have been 
built so that complete control of the breeding can be maintained. 
The frogs, if they breed in 19&7, will be bred in individual 
tanks, the one male being allowed to fertilise more than one 
female. It is hoped to ascertain whether the female lays all 
albino spawn or a mixture of albino spawn and normal spawn. 
After 1967 » breeding should take place in the frog house as we.ll. 

I envy the man who breeds the Fruit Fly, Drosophila , which 
completes a generation in weeks. Frogs are not normally sexually 
mature until their third or fourth year. That makes an F~ 
generation six years away„ In the words of Robert Browning, 
"Grow old along with met The best is yet to be." 

Thanks °.re due to the many people who have given me advice 
and assistance. 



Further reading 



-13- 



Gadow, H. 



1909 Cambridge Natural History. 8, 



Holmes, S. J. 



1927 The Biology of the Frog. New York. 



Marshall, \. M. 1919 The Frog. London. 



Noble, K. 



1931 The Biology of the Amphibia. 
New York. 



Savage, R. S. 



Smallcombe, W. A 



Smith, M. 



196l The Ecology & Life History of the 
Common Frog. London. 

19^-9 Albinism in Rana temporaria . 
J. Anim. Genet . k-9 (3). 

1951 The British Reptiles and Amphibians 
London. 



BATS OF THE READING AREA 
By M. G. Hardy, M.A. 

In the British Isles there are perhaps Ik- species of bats, 
belonging to two families, the Rhinolophilae or horseshoe bats 
(2 species) and the Vewpertilionidae (the rest). Of these, half 
a dozen are certainly to be found within the Reading area. 
Some are widely distributed and common, but of the rest we can 
say little. 

The Pipistrelle, Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Schreber) , is 
the 'common' bat. Its fast, jerky flight, and habit of keeping 
to a well defined beat, for example, up and down a stretch of 
road, are characteristic. Being so small, it can creep through 
very small openings, and nearly all houses both new and old 
contain potentially ideal roosting places for this species. 
Situations in which I have found them are beneath a corrugated 
asbestos roof, within a cavity wall, and in attics; in two cases 
the animals were living wedged between beams and brickwork, and 
in another they were hidden in the space between the tiles and 
underlying felt. It seems they prefer for their sleeping 
quarters situations into which they can squeeze. Being highly 
gregarious, colonies may sometimes number several hundred. 

The Noctule, Nyctalus noctula (Schreber), is another widely 
distributed species in the Thames valley. With a wing-span of 
13 inches, it is one of the largest of our bats. It appears 
soon after sunset, and is often to be seen flying in company 
with its avian diurnal counterpart, the swift, before the latter 
have retired for the night. The noctule is the easiest bat to 
identify; it has a fast dashing flight, usually at tree-top 
height, characteristically interrupted by steep dives, presumably 
to intercept an insect beneath it. At a distance swifts and 
noctules may be confused, but not when seen clearly. The wings 
of the swift beat rapidly through a small arc whereas those of 
the noctule are moved through a much greater distance and 
sometimes appear almost to meet under the body on the completion 
of the down-stroke. The noctule certainly has the edge on the 
swift in manoeuvrability. 

Englefield Park in early summer, when vast numbers of 
chironomid midges are emerging from the lake, is a favourite 
hunting ground and, in fact, a typical habitat for this species. 
On some evenings I have estimated 50 - 100+ to be present. 

Summer colonies of noctules live mainly in hollow trees, and 
in my experience woodpecker or similarly sized holes are 



-15- 



pref erred. Details of several roosts found locally are given 
below. They may be located by observing the direction from 
which the bats appear to come when first emerging (this isn't 
easy!) and thus the approximate position of the roost, and then 
listening for the high-pitched 'chittering' that occurs before 
the bats come out to hunt. 



NOCTULE SUMMER ROOSTS 



Height 
above 
Locality Situation Cavity ground 



Sonning 
railway 
cutting 

Woodcote 

Leighton 
Park 



White- 
knights 
Park 



Pine Woodpecker 
hole? 



Oak 



Roof of 

boiler 

house 



Pine 



Oak 



Top of 
broken 
trunk 

Split in 
trunk 



9 ft. 

c. 50 ft. 
c. 20 ft. 

c. 20 ft. 

c. kO ft. 



Max. no . 
o f bats 
emerging 

102 



<K3 



Oak Woodpecker c . 10 f t . 32 
hole? 



Date 



20 May 1957 



(10-20) 2 June i960 
30 April 1962 

196^ 



23 April 1965 



3 May 1966 



Englefield Oak 



c. 50 ft. 



20 18 June 1966 



Unlike the majority of bats, which hunt throughout the 
night with occasional periods of rest, noctules fly for a 
restricted period at dusk and dawn. The evening flight lasts 
60 -70 minutes. The bats emerge in groups, the individuals 
often coming out in rapid succession, and they then immediately 
disperse so that, shortly after they are all out, none can be 
seen in the immediate vicinity of the roost. 



-16- 

The return of the bats, so well described by Charles Oldham 
in his classic essay on this species ( Zoologist 1901 p. 51-59)? 
is, as would be expected, more scattered. It is by this time 
too dark to see clearly, but their behaviour is now quite 
different. The bats, on returning to the tree circle round, 
often in twos and threes at high speed; occasionally they fly 
up to the hole, perch for an instant and then go off again. 
Because of this it is almost impossible by observation alone to 
determine how many actually enter. The number of bats emerging 
varies considerably from evening to evening, and, as has been 
argued by Vesey-Fitzgerald, it seems that individuals are not 
constant to a specific roost. Also, dens occupied in the early 
summer may be vacated later on; a considerable movement of these 
bats must occur in late June and July. Noctules, it seems, are 
very vulnerable to being evicted by hole-nesting birds. On 
several occasions holes I have known to have been previously 
inhabited by these bats have subsequently been occupied by 
jackdaws, starlings, or grey squirrels. I have no definite 
evidence that eviction has taken place, but I think it likely. 
Bats have very few enemies, but it would not surprise me if 
squirrels were shown to be important in this respect. Further 
information would be valuable. 

The long-eared bat, Plecotus auritus (L.), (another very 
similar species, P. austriacus (Fischer), has recently been 
shown to occur in Britain) is also widely distributed, but is 
more secretive and later in emerging than the noctule. It is a 
woodland species but is not confined to this habitat. For 
several years I have watched these bats in a coppice of young ash 
trees near Englefield. Early May is the best time, before the 
leaves have fully come out. For much of the time the bats can be 
seen flying in and out and hovering amongst the topmost twigs of 
the trees, then darting off to another, appearing very like large 
moths. What they are feeding on here I do not know, but 
certainly noctuid moths often form a major part of their diet- 
Large prey, e.g. Yellow Underwing moths, are not eaten on the 
wing but are taken to a convenient perch, which may be used 
again and again. Piles of moth wings and legs in the corner of 
a porch or summer house are a sure sign that a long-ea.red bat is 
about. 

Many moths, notably in the family Noctuidae, have ears 
which are especially sensitive to ultrasonic sounds, and thus 
are efficient bat-detectors, enabling their possessor to take 
evasive action before too late. Jingling a bunch of keys 
produces ultrasonic sounds besides those that are audible to us. 
While I was out in Whiteknights Park on the evening of 23rd 
August, 1966, several Brimstone moths, Opisthograptis luteolata (L-) 



-17- 

( family Geometridae) were flying along the hedgerows. On my 
shaking the keys close by, they dived into the herbage; this 
was a very rapid movement and quite different from their 
normally slow fluttering flight. It is not unlikely that 
long-eared bats are especially adapted to capturing moths, for 
their echo-locating cries are extremely faint, and they thus 
stand a greater chance of approaching undetected. Their huge 
ears would, of course, be correlated with this. 

Daubenton's bat, Myotis daubentoni (Kuhl), is the fourth 
and last that I regard as being fairly common round Reading. It 
is 'the' water-bat, though, of course, most bats will hunt over 
water at times. Characteristically, these bats fly low over 
the surface, which they may be seen occasionally to touch as if 
they are actually picking insects off the water. I have watched 
these bats from several bridges along the Loddon - the ideal 
bat-watching bridge is one that gives an unobstructed view of 
the river, without too many surrounding trees, and facing west - 
such a one is that at Sherfield. Bats of the genus Myotis 
usually hibernate in caves or similar situations. Daubenton's 
Bat, Natterer's Bat, M. nattereri (Kuhl), and the Whiskered Bat, 
M. mystacinus (Kuhl), were recorded long ago as hibernating in 
a chalk tunnel near Henley, and these three species were 
present when I went there on 15th February, 1953 • 

I should be very pleased to hear of any colonies that 
members know of, particularly if their identity is in doubt. 



-18- 

THE FLORA OF THE WATERWAYS OF READING 
By. A. M. Simmonds 



Situated as it is between the confluence of the Thames and 
its tributary the Kennet, the Borough of Reading contains 
considerable stretches of waterways. The two rivers, the Holy 
Brook, and many connecting streams furnish several miles of 
riparian habitat, and thus considerably augment the urban flora 
already considered in the Reading Naturalist (no. 15) • 

Within built-up areas, the banks of the canalised Kennet 
have been urbanised with concrete or brick walling, which 
affords but little scope for plant growth, although even here 
may be found lowly mosses and liverworts, and an occasional 
flowering plant, such as Lycopus europaeus L. ( Gipsy -wort ) , 
Scutellaria galericulata L. (Skull-cap), and Eupatorium 
cannabinum L. (Hemp Agrimony). Such a place is the stretch of 
water alongside the Chestnut Walk by the Abbey Ruins. However, 
where the water-side banks have been left in a fairly natural 
state, as in the outlying parts of the Borough to the west, 
north, and east, a rariety of semi-aquatic plants flourish. Many 
of these are typical Monocotyledons, "reeds, rushes and sedges". 
The commonest species appears to be Glyceria maxima (Hartm.) 
Holmberg, which is a Reed Grass. This should not be confused 
with Phragmites communis Trin., the Common Reed, which seems to 
be absent from our urban water-communities, although abundant 
higher up the Kennet. G . maxima is present in abundance along 
both the Thames and the Kennet and especially so in marshy 
ground such as that bordering the backwater to Caversham Mill. 
Here, too, in abundance is Impatiens capensis Meerb. (Jewel-weed 
or Orange Balsam). It has most attractive flowers, orange 
splashed with red, which dangle on thin stalks. It is an 
introduced species which has reached the Thames via the Enborne 
and Kennet, and is spreading rapidly. Its grander relative, 
I. glandulifera Royle (Policeman's Helmet or Himalayan Balsam) 
is, as yet, comparatively rare in our area. Both species have 
explosive fruits. 

Sedges, with their triangular stems, are fqirly abundant, 
the two commonest species being Car ex acutiformis Ehrh. (Pond 
Sedge) and C . riparia Curt. (Great Pond Sedge). C. paniculata L. 
(Tufted Sedge) is rare. True rushes ( Juncus species), known by 
their cylindrical unjointed stems are infrequent; J. inflexus L. 
(Hard Rush) is the one most likely to be seen. 

Acorus calamus L. (Sweet Flag) with its unusual green 



-19- 

flower-spike is quite unlike the Water Flag or Yellow Iris ( Iris 
pseudacorus L.). It grows in clumps near Reading Bridge (Hill's 
Meadow) . The curious wrinkling of the sword-like leaves is a 
useful clue to its identity. Swans appear to be fond of this 
plant., and pieces of rhizome -are often seen detached and 
floating, thus helping to colonise the plant. It seems to be 
absent from the Kennet. 

Typha latif olia L. (Reedmace) and Scirpus l acustris L. 
(the true Bulrush) occur sparingly, but Sparganium erectum L. 
(Bur-reed) with its spiky round fruits is frequent as is also 
another Reed-grass, Phalaris arundinacea L., with very reed-like 
leaves and pinkish inflorescence. 

Growing at the water's edge, where the bank is less steep, 
may be found occasionally Cardamine a mar a L. (Large 
Bitter-cress), Myosotis scorpioides L. (Water Forget-me-not), 
Ranunculus sceleratus L. (Celery-leaved Buttercup), Barbarea 
vulgaris R. Br. (Winter Cress), Rorippa amphibia (L.) Bess. 
(Great Yellow-cress), Bidens cernua L. (Nodding Bur-marigold) 
and B. tr i partita L. (Three-cleft Bur-marigold). Both these 
last species have awned fruits armed with barb-like deflexed 
bristles. Brassica rapa L. (Bargeman's Cabbage) is an alien 
Crucifer which is fairly common along the Thames, although it 
does not appear to be along the Kennet yet. It is a biennial 
with conspicuous coarse turnip-like radical leaves, and its 
showy yellow flowers appear in spring. 

In summer the banks are gay with purple Loosestrife 
( Ly thrum salicaria L.), Great Willow-herb ( Epilobium hirsutum L.), 
Meadow-sweet ( Filipendula ulmaria (L.) Maxim.), Hemp Agrimony, 
Comfrey ( Symphytum officinalis L.) and St. John's-wort 
( Hypericum tetrapterum Fr.). That troublesome family, the 
Umbellifers, is represented by Qenanthe crocata L. (Hemlock 
Water-Dropwort ) , a rather coarse pla.nt, and the much more 
elegant Conium maculatum L. (true Hemlock) with finely cut 
leaves and an unpleasant smell; both these species are very 
poisonous. These are followed in July and August by the aromatic 
and harmless Angelica sylvestris L. (Wild Angelica). Aster 
novi-belgii L. (Michaelmas Daisy) has established itself at 
Hill's Meadow, View Island, and further downstream, and provides 
colour and interest in the autumn. 

Purely aquatic plants are sparse. Nuphar lutea (L.) Sm. 
(Yellow Water-lily) flowers above Berkeley Avenue Bridge, and 
also in the Caversham Mill stream. Water Crowfoot (probably 
Ranunculus aquatilis L. s. sp.) can be seen in the Holy Brook 



-20- 

jue ' below its entry into the Borough. Sagittaria sagittifolia L 
(Arrowhead) has been seen, though not flowering, just below 
Berkeley Avenue bridge. Callitriche L. species (Water Starwort) 
and Apium nodiflorum (L.) L-g» (Fool's Watercress) inhabit 
almost stagnant water at Mill Green, Caveraham. 

The water-side trees are mainly pollarded Salix fragilis L. 
(Crack Willow) and the occasional Alnus glutinosa L. (Alder) 
whose colourful male catkins are a harbinger of spring. There 
is a handsome Purple Osier ( S. purpurea L.) in Hill's Meadow. 

Where the Thames is an amenity, as along the Promenade and 
Christchurch Meadow, the necessity of keeping herbage under 
control has impoverished the plant life. It is to be hoped that 
in future river-side developments the lovely and typical plants 
of our watersides may not be too ruthlessly destroyed, but left 
for all to enjoy. 



-21- 

JUNIPER VALLEY: SOME OBSERVATIONS AND PROBLEMS 
By H. H. Carter, M.A. B.Sc. 

Juniper Valley takes its unofficial name from its most 
conspicuous feature, the fine stand of Juniperus communis L. 
which occupies the greater part of its sides. It is a fine 
example of a dry valley in the chalk downs, leading somewhat 
west of south from. Hogtrough Bottom towards Lowbury Hill, in 
the 1-kilometre square whose national grid reference is 
SU 5^-0 630. The more open, eastern slope supports several 
species of rare plants, and a part of it has been enclosed to 
form the Aston Upthorpe Nature Reserve managed by the Berkshire, 
Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Naturalists' Trust. 

Among these rare species is Pulsatilla vulgaris Mill. 
( Anemone Pulsatilla L.), the Pasque Flower, which forms two 
colonies here, one enclosed within the reserve and one on the 
unenclosed slope immediately above it. The lower colony was 
surrounded in 1961 with a fence of 1" mesh wire netting, the 
bottom edge of which was buried to a depth of 15 cm. ( 6" ) while 
the top edge was garnished with barbed wire, with the object of 
excluding grazing animals (sheep and rabbits) and discouraging 
picking by humans. This measure was taken because it was then 
apparent that although the plants flowered annually, few or no 
seed heads survived the flowering season and the colony was 
therefore in danger of extinction. The same state of affairs 
prevailed in the upper colony.* It was hoped that if the plants 
could be allowed to set seed, the wind-borne seeds would take 
root on other parts of the slope. So far this hope has not 
been fulfilled. On the contrary, damage to the plants has 
continued. The flower stalks are nipped off close to the ground 
when in bud,* or the flower itself is nibbled away, leaving only 
the receptacle, or the upper part of the stalk may be bitten 
through after the seeds have formed. That the inner wire netting 
enclosure has afforded partial protection against this damage is 
shown by the following census of the two colonies, taken on 
20th May I966:- 

Plants Flowering stems Bitten off Surviving 

Upper colony 1^6 140 137 3 

Lower colony 92 31 13 18 



* A. M. Sirnmonds. The Ashton Upthorpe Nature Reserve. 
B.B.O.N.T. Annual Report 1966 . 



-22- 

It will be noticed that although the survival rate is much 
higher in the lower colony, the number of plants which attempted 
to flower is less, (It must not be assumed that each plant 
produces only one flowering stem, or none; some plants produce 
as many as four or five.) The non-flowering plants within the 
enclosure are generally small and somewhat spindly, with as few 
as two or three leaves. Three possible causes for this are 
suggested. 

(a) The plants have been disturbed by moles and have not 
yet fully re-established themselves. 

(b) The plants are competing unsuccessfully with coarse 
grasses, which in the absence of grazing animals are 
tending to form a mat of vegetation. 

(c) The plants are seedlings. 

As these small plants are found to occur both on molehills, 
where they are fully exposed, and among the long grass, neither 
(a) nor (b) can be the sole explanation, but they may well be 
contributory causes. In an attempt to elucidate this problem, 
it is proposed to rake over the area within the inner enclosure 
late in the year when the leaves of the Pasque Flower have died 
down (if indeed they do), and so remove the mat of dead grasses 
and open up the dense cover which is forming. It may then 
appear advisable to cut the grass with shears, particularly round 
the edges. Unfortunately it will not be possible to control the 
activities of the moles as well, so that the results will net 
necessarily be conclusive. It may even happen that when the 
surrounding grass is discouraged the biting of stems will increase. 

The animal responsible for this biting off has not been 
identified, 'though I have recently been trying, by trapping and 
observation, on the lines suggested by Mrs. Simmonds,* to find 
out what it • is . 

On the evening of Friday, 6th May, I laid out a line of six 
Longworth small mammal traps along the length of the reserve, 
two being inside the inner wire netting enclosure. All the traps 
were pre-baited (i.e. food and bedding were supplied, and the 
trap-dcor fastened up so that mice could go in and out freely, 
and become used to the traps). On the morning of 9th May all 
the traps were set, and it was obvious that the two traps within 
the enclosure had been visited, the food eaten and a quantity of 
droppings deposited during the pre-baiting' period . 



-23- 



The results of the trappings are given in tabular form below: - 



TRAP LOCATIONS 

(inside small enclosure)(inside main fence of the reserve) 
1 2 j h 5 6 



May 9 




a.m. 


all traps set. 


May 9 




p.m. 


nil 


May 10 




a.m. 


used, empty. 


p.m. 


nil 


May 11 




a.m. 


Apodemus j. 



nil 



nil Apodemus f. nil 



2 Apodemus jo nil nil 
nil nil nil 



nil 
nil 

nil 



nil 

nil 
nil 

nil 



Apodemus f . nil nil 
(Traps 3 to 6 were now moved to form a line up and down 
the slope, with Trap k joining Traps 1 and 2 inside the 
small enclosure.) 



May 12 
p.m. Apodemus 

May 13 . , 
a.m. Apodemus 



Apodemus j . nil nil 



nil 



nil 



Apodemus jm. nil Apodemus f . nil nil 

p.m. nil Apodemus jm . nil nil nil nil 

(Traps 3 to 6 were moved again to the upper colony of 
Pulsatilla outside the main fence of the reserve, and 
all traps pre-baited.) 



May 16 










p.m. 


Traps 3-6 


set. (Trap 5 ha 


d been oc 


May 17 










a .m. 


Traps 1 & 2 


set . 


nil 


nil 


p.m. 


nil 


nil 


nil 


nil 


May 18 










a ,m. 


Apodemus m. 


Apodemus m. 


nil 


nil 


p.ihl 


nil 


nil 


nil 


nil 


May 19 










a.m. 


Apodemus 


Apodemus 


nil 


nil 


p.m. 


nil 


nil 


nil 


nil 


May 20 










a.m. 


Apodemus 


nil 


nil 


nil 



nil 


nil 


nil 


nil 


nil 


nil 


nil 


nil 


nil 


nil 


nil 


nil 



nil nil 



(All traps were removed.) 



-24- 

The species shown as Apod emus is A. sylvaticus (L.) the 
Wood-mouse or Long-tailed Field-mouse. The abbreviations m. , 
f. and j. indicate male, female, and juvenile. These results 
may be summarised as follows :- 

Only one species was taken, A. sylvaticus L. This species 
was taken only within the inner enclosure, and wit* 1 one exception 
only during the night. One trap was used outside the enclosure 
while pre-baited. 

When released, most individuals made their way to one or 
other of three holes inside the enclosure; one had a hole outside 
but only 3 or 4 metres from the fence. It therefore appears 
highly probable that Apodemus is the only small mammal resident 
on the slope, and has been favoured by the growth of long grass 
in the inner enclosure. The plants attacked here, presumably by 
Apodemus , were mostly bitten off well above ground at the late 
flowering or early seeding stage, and this continued during the 
trapping period. In the upper colony, a larger proportion of 
plants were bitten off' close to the ground, and some leaves had 
also been eaten. This damage had already been done before 
trapping began, and as already mentioned, the attack here was 
much more intensive. This difference in the pattern of feeding, 
combined with the trapping results, suggests that two or more 
different species are responsible. Animals known to frequent 
the eastern slope of the valley, which might be responsible and 
would not be taken in the Longwcrth traps, are Oryctolagus 
cuniculus (L.) (Rabbit) and Perdix perdix (L.) (Partridge). 
Lepus capensis L. (Brown Hare) and Phasianus colchicus L. 
(Pheasant) occur just outside the valley and sometimes venture 
on to its juniper-covered western slope. I regard the Rabbit as 
the principal suspect. The question might perhaps be answered by 
visual observation in late March or early April when the buds of 
Pulsatilla first appear. 



-25- 



Appendix A 

While working in the valley, I took the opportunity of 
collecting or observing some of the other members of its fauna;. 
Their names, and my impression of their status, are appended. 
Some birds from the immediate vicinity are also included. 

Mammals 



Insectivora 

Talpa eurcpaea L. (Mole) 
Sorex araneus L. (Shrew) 



Lagomorpha 

Lepus capensis L. (Hare) 

Oryctolagus cuniculus (L.)( Rabbit) 
Rodentia 



Present in small numbers. 
A colony of 10 or so in 
the long grass on the 
floor of the valley below 
the colonies of Pulsatilla 



Common on Aston Upthorpe 
Downs, but seldom enters 
the valley. 

Two groups of burrows near 
the reserve, both occupied, 



Apodemus sylvaticus (L. )(Long-tailed 

Field-mouse) See trapping records above 



Birds (Species with territories extending into the valley 
marked * ) 



* Perdix perdix (L.) (Partridge) 
* Phasianus colchicus (L.) (Pheasant) 
Vanellus vanellus (L.) (Lapwing) 



Burhinus oedicnemus (L.)(Stone 

Curlew) 
Columba oenas L. (Stock Dove) 
C . palumbus L. (Wood Pigeon) 



2 pairs . 

1 male. 

Nests on level Downs 

around the valley, and 

flies over. 

ditto 

1 seen near the valley. 

Several pairs in the wood 

immediately north of the 

valley. 
Streptopelia turtur (L.) (Turtledove) Common in the wood, and 

wherever there are trees. 
Cuculus canorus L. (Cuckoo) Males seen in and out of 

the valley; females 

probably lay in nests of 

small birds over the same 

area. 
Apus apus (L.) (Swift) Feeds in the valley, but 

no suitable nesting sites. 



-26- 



Alauda arvensis L. (Skylark) 
Hirundo rustica L. (Swallow) 
Corvus corone L. (Carrion Crow) 



Corvus frugilegus L. (Rook) 

Par us major L. (Great Tit) 

P. caeruleus L. (Blue Tit) 
P. ater L, (Coal lit) 
Troglodytes troglodytes (L.) (Wren) 
* Turdus ericetorurn Turton (Song Thrush 

* T. merula L. 

Erithacus rubecula (L.) (Robin) 

Sylvia atricapilla (L.) (Blackcap) 

* S. communis Latham (Whitethroat ) 

*S* curruca (L.) (Lesser Whitethroat) 



As Vanellus above. 

As Apus above. 

Present, and doubtless 

feeds in valley on 

occasion. 

Passes over, but not 

known to feed. 

In wood north of the 

valley, common. 

ditto. 

ditto. 

ditto. 

Occurs within the valley, 

and probably breeds. 

ditto. 

As Par us above. 

ditto. 

3 or 't pairs in the valley, 

abundant outside, breeds. 

A singing male at the 

south end of the valley. 



Phylloscopus trochilus (L.) (Willow «. 

P. collybita ( Vieillot )(Chif fchaff ) dittoT 
Prunella modularis (L.) (Hedge 

Sparrow) 
' Anthus pratensis (L.) (Meadow Pipit) 



As Parus above. 



* Chloris chloris (L.) (Greenfinch) 
* Carduelis cannabina (L.) (Linnet) 

* Fringilla coelebs L. (Chaffinch) 

* Emberiza citrinella L. (Yellowhammer) 

E. calandra L. (Corn Bunting) 



ditto. 

2 or 3 pairs in the 

valley, common outside, 

breeds. 

ditto. 

5 or 6 pairs in thevalley, 

abundant outside, breeds. 

1 pair in the valley, 

several outside, breeds. 

1 or 2 pairs in the valley, 

abundant outside, breeds. 

As Vanellus above. 



Reptiles 
. Anguis fragilis L. (Slow-worm) 



A pair seen mating in the 
valley by Mrs. Simmonds. 



-27- 

Mollusca (all Gastropoda) 
Pu^aonatpu 

Theba cantiana (Mtiller) Abundant throughout the more 

open parts of the valley. 
Helicella itala (L.) 2 dead shells found in 

disturbed soil in the reserve 
H« (Cernuells) virgata (da Costa) ditto. 
H. (Candidula)caperata (Montagu) Not uncommon in the valley 

and reserve, about 6 seen. 
Cepaea nemoralis (L.) One dead shell found among 

juniper on the western slope. 
Agriolimax agrestis (L.) 2 among long grass on the 

Aspidobranchia floor of the valle y- 



Pomatias elegans (MUller) 



As H. itala above. 



All these are snails, except Agriolimax which is a slug. 

Crustacea 

Armadillidium vulgare L. (Pill 

Woodlouse) The commonest visible 
invertebrate . 

A single specimen of another species of woodlouse (probably 
Porcellio sp.) was seen but could not be identified. 

Insects 

To attempt to collect and identify comprehensively the members 
of this class would have taken more time than I could afford. 
A few isolated observations are given here. 



Hymenoptera 

Bombus lapidarius (L.) 

Andrena armata ( Gm . ) 

Myrm i ca ruginodis Nyl. 
Lasius flavus (F.) 



Tenthredo mescmelas L. 



One queen of this red-tailed 
Bumble-Bee was seen. Another 
Bombus sp. is also present. 
Several females and one male 
of this solitary bee were 
seen. 

A worker of this ant seen 
carrying one of the following, 
The hillocks of this under- 
ground ant occur all over the 
valley, making it the 
commonest non-micrcscopic 
animal there. 
I took a female of this sawfly. 



-28- 

Spiders 

Dictyna latens (F.) One found on Juniper on the western slope. 
Members of this and a few other families have a special 
organ which secretes silk in a broad ribbon, and a comb- 
like structure on each hind foot for winding the ribbon 
round their prey. 

Lycosa mcnticol a (Clerk) Common on the western slope. This, 

like the next two species, is a hunting spider which makes 
no web, and uses its silk only for wrapping its eggs. 

L. pullata (Clerk) This common species is less numerous in the 
valley than monticola . 

Tarentula barbipes (Sundevall) One specimen taken 0*1 the western 
slope. 

Pisaura mirabilis (Clerk) Although larger and more conspicuous 
and quite unrelated to the following species, this very 
common species has similar habits and habitat. 

Philodromus aureolus (Clerk) This little Crab Spider is common 
on nettles at the entrance to the valley, where it sits 
motionless, waiting for careless insects. 

Tibellus oblongus (Walkenaer) I saw one specimen of this long, 
narrow-bodied species in long grass on the floor of the 
valley, Despite its very different shape, it belongs to 
the same family as Philodromus ♦ 

Amaurobius terrestris (Wider) Not unc§^non in the reserve. Its 
web is like that of its relative the House Spider 
( Tegenaria spp.) but much smaller. 

Meta segmentata (Clerk) Abundant on Juniper on the western 
slope, where it spins an orb web like that of the next 
species and other membe r s of the family. 

Araneus redii (Scopoli) Abundant on nettles and other tall 

plants near the entrance to the valley. A local species, 
closely related to the Garden Spider A. diadematus Clerk. 

Linyphia hortensis Sundevall Common on Juniper at the northern 
end of the reserve, where it builds a horizontal sheet 
web typical of its family. 

Mites 

The queen of Bombus lapidarius mentioned above was carrying a 

number of mites, probably Parasitus sp« 

(T. E. Hughes, Mites or the Acari, p. 30; London 1959.) 



-29- 



Appendix B 

A few species which have been recorded in the valley by 
myself or others in previous years, but were not encountered by 
me this year, are listed below. 



Mammalia 

Meles meles (L.) (Badger) 



Said to occur in the 
wood north of the 
valley. 



Birds 



Falco tinnunculus L. (Kestrel) 



Up to 2 pairs 

recorded till quite 

recently. 

All these owls have 

been recorded in 

recent years within 

a mile of the valley. 



Strix aluco L. (Tawny Owl) Resident. 
Athene noctua (Scopoli) 

(Little Owl) Resident. 
Asio otus (L.) (Long- 
eared Owl) Vagrant 
Asio flammeus (Pontopp.) 

(Short-eared OvtD Winter visitor. 
Regulus regulus (L.) (Goldcrest) Recorded in April, 

196l and December, 
196^ in some numbers 
in Juniper on the 
western slope. 



Insect 

Colostygia multistrigaria 



Recorded in Reading 
Naturalist no. 17. 



- 30 - 

WEATHER RECORDS IN 1 966 
By A. E. Moon 

The data refer t« Reading University Meteorological Station. A 
"rain day" is a day on which rainfall equals or exceeds 0.01 of an inch. 
The averages for temperature refer to the period -1931-60, those for the 
amount of precipitation and number of rain days to 1916-50, and those for 
sunshine to 1921-50. For the designation of frost and ground-frost days 
see Weather Records in 1 961 . 



STATION - READING UNIVERSITY. 



HEIGHT ABOVE MEAN SEA LEVEL - 148 ft. 



JAN. 



MEAN 
DAILY 
TEMPERATURE 
°F. 



EXTREME 
TEMPERATURES 



DAYS WITH 



flBHMWBBWWinawniHfflWCTIlWI^^ 



SUNSHINE HOURS 



:%■:;.■) u M.-itntutiinuwitmxi in mi u mirror nimtiitinimn unm 



J*X. 41.5 

MIN, ISLx. 

MEAN._ [37^6 

'blFFERiNCi'T 
FROM NORMAL [-1.4 



48.5 | 51.5 154.1 



62^PJ_„.I0 |-J. .1 68. J 68. 6 J66. 8 j .58. 2_|47^3 
40.2 \ 37.6 [41.8 I 44.8 j ' SS^oTl SsIifsJIFT 

44.3i 44.5 [ 47.9 j 53.4 j 61.5 60.6 I 60.4 



E. MAX. 

"date" 

E. MIN. 



I? 
29 

18 



56_ 

8,19 

32 



DATE i 19 

I. GRASS MINI 12 
DATE ' M5* 



FROST" 



14 



GROUND FROST! 18 



SUM. 
% POSS. 
DAILY MEAN 



11.31 



PRECIPITATION j AMOUNT 

ins. RAIN DAYS 

"max. RAIN 
IN 1 DAY 
DATE 
LONGEST RUN OF CONSECUTIVE 

I RAIN DAYS 
LONGEST RUN OF CONSECUTIVE 

j DRY DAYS 
SNOW OR * SLEET DAYS 
DAYS SNOW LYING 



1.51 
I 17 '" 



jO.39 
T 30~" 



11 



FEB. 



MAR. [APR. j MAY j JUN. j JUL. I AUG. | SEP.! OCT. { NOV.j DEC; YEAR 



48.9 j 57.2 



+4.4 



U 
27 
24 

10" 



+ 0.6 [-0.8 ; -0.9 1 +1.4 

. u ii'i m i —j — ■■ »»«« 



58 _ 
26 



72 



20 
17 

T 

22 



77 



81 



30 | 1,2! 

jKiiii..j-uuj- ..- i_j... 

32 38 



43 



23 

~~* 

TT_ 

~"~7 ! 



9 S 

"26""!" 

Tot 



1 

— $._.. 
1 



o i 



•* 



50.4) 46.5 [37.5 



37.0! 



.Mil 



-2.5 ! -2.4 



77 



81 



20 



44 



44 



18 
38 
18 



! 2,24 
! 2 



~n o" 



J40.8 32.7 i 130.3 j 77.4 | 238.1 1 197.2 j 163.oj 196.1 
I 15 12 ! 35 ! 19 50 i 40 ! 33 ! 44 



1.17 I 4.20 | 2.58 | 
' I ■ I ( 



7.681 



6.57 j 5.26 } 6.32 



3.45 j 0.51 j 3.70 
"19 1 To] 22. 



2.10 

fl 1 



2.55! 3.23J 3.28 
~~vC\ 15 ) ""13"" 



58.6! 52.3 142.4 \ 42.9 1 50.6 | 



! 






+ 0.2! +0.9 j-2.4 ! +1.9 



73 



67 



4 



-0.1 ; 

■■jwt/ 

59 __55j 81 | 

& : «... , fl 



40 



37 



28 



17 ]26,29 j 24,25[ 
32 j 29 1 21 I 
r26,29V| 24 ~ 

_ ; 3° = i 
o 1 ""o "" T*T 

1~1 T""| "18 



25 1 



18 



16 



26 ! Jan,19i 
26 ! Jan. 15 



171.1 72.4 

45 j 22 

5.70 j 2.33 



18 



1.55 
8 , 



5.15 



20 



108 



64.1 j 40. 2 j 1423.4 

24 16 j 32 

2.13 I 1.30 3.9C 



5 



1.55 ! 2.39! 30.7? 



16 



23 



185 



i 



0.53 



0.14 | 0.61 

9 1 28 



14 ! 

— *-■ 



0.41 | 1.28! 0.62 j 0.64 j 0.50 j 0.95 j 0.42 ! 0.33= 1.28 



11 



22 



■21,29 f 



30 



13 



1 ] Jun.22 



10 



VISIBILITY FOG AT 0900 G.M.T. 



| 6 J 

2 T "6" 

1 



4. 



4 I 



THUNDERSTORM 



ACTIVITY 



DAYS 0F_ THUNDER 2 
days" OF HAIL""'" 



«f HKannennM « 



.1...H. 



10 



4 I 

o i 



4— ™ 

i o 



9 l 13 
n ! n 



j 



i 

o j 



15 

........ 



6 | 4 



4 



20 



AVERAGES 
MEAN DAILY 



j MAX^ 
[ MIN.™ 



| 44.2 j 45.5! 



I j 



57.0 ! 



3 

! 



s 

■4 — 



..4 







51.4 



63.5! 



■w 1 1 mm n *m mmmtmntt. www wwuw 

69.11 71.8! 71.6 



1 



MPERATURE °F. MEAN. |39j5 I""39~9 f 43.9 ["48.71"" 54. 3! 

PRECIPITATION ■ A !° UI 5L li* 41 ' 1 ' 78 1 1 ' 6 ii 1 ' 90 L 1 ' 86 ' 

! RAIN DAYS j~17 13J 13 ! 14 " 13 1 

CII „ CUUIC j SUM. 152.7 | 70.0| 120.9 

SUNSHINE 1 '. r . 

DAILY MEAN ! 1.7 ! 2.5 { 3.9 5.2! 6.3! 



66.6 \ 58.6 l 50.5 | 46.0! 57.9 



^9iM^^l^^lA^^ll.^l j 39 * 2 | 36.0] 4& j 

*"58.~5l 51.4 j 44.8 | 41. i M.T. 

2.10 | 2.60 | 2.74 [ 2.30J 25.72j 



60.1 | 63.1 | 62.8 

WMuwRHn^mmmHiiiwni«vMWM«tuiniii 

1.61! 2.53 ! 2.20 
11 lis"] 13 " 



vu%4«/,'.t%\w\iiuiiiimpruu.flt\ 



15 17 ■ * 



167 



13 '■- 15 \ 15 i 1' 

in unwiiJ ■MIRNMJM l Hi flpMlllBMWWWWrtMMMWII 

156.0] 195.3) 210.0] 192.2 182.9! 138.0! 105-4 63.0 | 46.5J 1Sjjj | 

Z~A\ i'JT C5j 4.20 1 



7.01 6.2 j 5.9 



4.6 



-31- 



MONTHLY WEATHER NOTES 
1966 

January This was the coldest January since 1963, and the 19th 
was the coldest January day since 24th of that year. 
It was also the dullest January since i960. 

February The warmest since 1961 and the wettest since 1951. 

April It was the wettest April since reliable records began 
at the University station in 1921, and the l4th was 
the coldest April day recorded in the same period. 
Sunshine was also the lowest amount for April sinte 
records began in the Reading area in 1939. 
Temperature, however, reached 60 F for the first time 
this year on 8th ( 6l F) . 

May The wettest since 1955 and the sunniest since 1959* 

June The warmest June since i960, and the night of 9th/10th 
was the warmest June night since 30th, 1957 • 

July Temperature and sunshine both well below normal. Some 
heavy falls of rain in short periods occurred; those 
worth mentioning and all occurring in a period of six 
minutes were 0.13" between 11. 5^ and 12.00 on 19th, 
0.13" between 15.45 and 15-51 on 29th and 0.10" 
between 12.45 and 12.51 on 26th. 

August The maximum temperature of 60 F on 1st was the lowest 
August maximum since 6th 1962 (maximum then 57 F) . It 
was the wettest August since i960. 

September The night minimum temperature of 6l F on 4th was the 
highest September figure since 19th, 196l. The first 
autumn ground frost was recorded on l6th. The first 
ground frost did not occur until l6th October last 
year, in spite of the fact that September was a much 
colder month than the present one. 

October The wettest since i960. The sunshine total was the 
lowest October figure since records commenced in 
Reading in 1939* 

November The first air frost of the present winter occurred on 
3rd and the first snow (a slight shower) occurred 
early on 29th. 

December The warmest December since 1959 1 but sunshine amounts 
were the lowest since that year. The Christmas period 
gave the coldest spell of the month. 



-3a- 

THE RECORDER'S REPORT FOR ENTOMOLOGY 
1965-1966 

By B. R. Baker, B.Sc, F.M.A., F.R.E.S. 

Order Odonata (Dragon-flies) 

Gomphus vulgatissimus (L.) Club-tail Dragon-fly 

A fine specimen of this uncommon species was brought to the 
Museum on ?th June from the seemingly unlikely locality of the 
Conservative Party Offices in London Street. This striking 
black and yellow dragon-fly is known to breed in the river Thames 
and cast larval skins may at times be found in numbers on the 
river edge vegetation by Caversham Bridge. The adults of the 
larger dragon-flies habitually fly away from water soon after 
hatching and therefore the London Street area is perhaps not so 
surprising a one in which to see a specimen in flight, save the 
fact that this example conveniently entered an open window there. 
We have not recorded G. vulgatissimus since 195^, though doubtless 
a watch along Thames-side banks in late May and early June would 
produce further evidence of the continued existence of the species 

Order Trichoptera (Caddis-flies) 

It is probable that in most species of caddie the female 
crawls down below the water surface to lay her eggs, and Mr. 
Price instances an observation made on the species Phryganea 
striata L. at Wokefield Common Fishpond' on 28th May. The caddis, 
bearing the extruded egg-mass at the tip of its abdomen, was seen 
to crawl down a piece of grass and into the water where it 
remained submerged for five minutes. The specimen was alive 
when Mr. Price retrieved it after this time. 

Order Hemiptera (Plant Bugs, Aphids, etc. 

Mr. Price records that the Nettle Ground Bug, Heterogaster 
urticae (F.) was to be seen in large numbers along the- banks of 
the Holy Brook, Reading, during August 1966 . Also that the 
aphids Macrosiphoniella artemisiae (Fonse . ) and Pleotrichophorus 
glandulosus (Kaltenbach) were extremely abundant on the plants 
of mugwort ( Artemisia vulgaris L.) growing on waste land in 
Berkeley Avenue, Reading. 

Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths) 

Events quite early in the season seemed to forecast that 
1966 might be a good year as regards immigrant Lepidoptera, but 
the promise of the month of May wae not to be fulfilled later in 
the year: 



-33- 

Vanessa cardui (L.) Painted Lady Butterfly 

Evidence of a considerable migration accumulated in late 
May. On 23rd, Dr. Watson reported a specimen on the main 
University site, whilst on 28th, the occasion of Mrs. Simmonds' 
excursion to Ashley Hill, members were able to see 5-6 
specimens careering around the highest point of the hill. 
Occasionally a specimen would settle on, or close to the ground, 
then rapidly circle the summit again, returning to the same 
resting spot. The condition of these butterflies showed them 
to be considerably worn, (though this is not necessarily to be 
taken as evidence of a long, sustained flight). Further Painted 
Ladies were observed on 30th May over a wide area, viz. Inkpen 
Beacon, Savernake Forest, and West Woods (an extensive area west 
of Marlborough). 

Colias croceus (Fourc.) Clouded Yellow Butterfly 

We have no local records concerning early spring, but 
specimens were observed during August and September. These may 
have been the descendants of spring visitors from across the 
Channel or possibly themselves late immigrants. Dr. E. Burtt 
saw Clouded Yellows en 28th August and 2nd September close to 
'Three Firs' turning at Burghfiel.; (three examples on each 
occasion), and the Recorder sav. a single specimen at Pamber 
Forest on 10th September. 

Herse convolvuli (L.) Convolvulus Hawk-moth 

A fine male specimen of this large hawk-moth was brought to 
the Museum on 2^-th October by Mrs. G. Rhymes c£ 25 , Valentine 
Crescent, Caversham. The discovery was made when a line of 
washing was being attended to - H. convolvuli was quietly resting 
on a pair of socks I 

Notes on Resident Species 

Apatura iris (L.) Purple Emperor Butterfly 

On the occasion of a visit to Pamber Forest on 5th June 
by members of the South London Entomological Society, a third- 
instar larva of this fine butterfly, discovered on a sallow bush 
in the marsh, high-lighted for the visitors their first experience 
of this classic locality. 

Limenitis Camilla (L.) White Admiral 

Dr. Burtt records this species from the beechweods close to 
the King Charles's Head at Goring Heath on 1^+th July. It is 
valuable to have records of this species from areas other than 
the oak woods of the Berks/Hants border. 



Strymcnidia w-album (Knoch) White-letter Hairstreak 

Noted on several occasions between 20th July and 3rd August 
by Dr. Burtt at Goring Heath. 

Celastrina argiolus (L.) Holly Blue 

A single specimen recorded on 2nd August at 45, Highgrove 
Street, by Mrs. A. M. Simmonds. This butterfly, of very uncertain 
occurrence, has a marked preference for shrubberies of town 
gardens, especially those stocked with holly, ivy, privet and laurel 

Euplexia lucipara (L.) Small Angle-shades Moth 

Another 'garden' record: Mr. Price reports larvae of this 
species abundant on ferns in his garden at 6, Mansfield Road, 
Reading. 

Order Hymenoptera (Bees, Ants and Wasps) \ 

Woods Ants ( Formica sp.) 

Mrs. Simmonds and Miss Cobb reported wood ants very active 
at a site near Eversley on 27th March, 1966. Their activities 
produced a rustling sound among the dead leaves which was audible 
from a distance of several yards. 

Order Diptera (Two-winged Flies) 

In early autumn the Museum was called upon to identify 
various samples of fl.ies all of which had been taken from within 
buildings. Although superficially such samples appear to consist 
only of the hauae-fly, Musca domes ti^a L., detailed examination 
usually reveal.- a number of species present, Addi'. i cnal to 
M. domestica the following identifications were n ; iie: 

Stomoxys cal ::i;v".a (L.) Biting House-fly 

This species is generally larger than the common. house-fly , 
from which it may easily be distinguished by a shiny, black dagger 
of a proboscis. 

Musca autumnalis Deg. Autumn Fly 

Very similar to the common house-fly, but having certain 
colour differences. Further, differs in habits by congregating 
and overwintering within buildings* 

Pollenia rudis (F.) Cluster Fly 

Larger than the house-fly and with wings which overlap when 
resting (not diverging as in house-flies). Clothed with fine 
golden hairs. Larva parasitic in earthworms. 

The Recorder would like to express his thanks to Miss L. Cobb, 
Mrs. A. M. Simmonds, Dr. E. Burtt and Mr. Arthur Price, and to the 
Director of Reading Museum, Mr. T. L. Gwatkin, for allowing the 
inclusion of those records kept at the Museum. 



-35- 

THE RECORDER'S REPORT FOR BOTANY 
1965-1966 

By B. M. Newman 

The records listed this year have been sent in by two 
members, Mrs. Simmonds (AMS) and Mrs. Phillips (VAP) . The 
nomenclature and order are according to 'A List of British 
Plants' by J. E. Dandy (1958), and an alien taxon, i.e. one known 
or believed to have been introduced by the agency of man, is ' 
indicated by *. 

A plant of Anagallis minima was found by Mrs. Rhodes on 
the field excursion to Aldermaston Soke led by Dr. Bowen. Mrs. 
Simmonds has sent in some interesting information concerning the 
occurrence of this pimpernel-like member of the Primula family. 
It is not a new local record. Druce in his 'Flora of Berkshire* 
notes that it was first recorded in How's 'phytologia Britvanica ' 
(London 1650) as a British species found"near Redding." He adds 
that it was almost certainly discovered by Mr. Watlington, an 
apothecary of Reading, since in Ashmole's copy of the 'Phytologia' 
the locality is given in more precise terms as "upon ye end of 
ye hill near Chaucer's Coppis, E. A. and J. W." (E. A. refers 
to E. Ashmole). Druce also records it as occurring near Mortimer 
(Tufnail); in several localities in the Loddon area including 
Wellington College and Finchampstead; and in Oxfordshire at 
Binfield Heath with Radiola (Allseed) in 1872, where it was 
still in existence in 1885^ The most recent Berkshire record 
until this year was from Frilford in 19^5 • 

This year should see the completion of the gathering-in of 
records for a revised Berkshire Flora. Records already collected 
show that many of our less common species are still to be found 
in the localities described by Druce at the end of the last 
century. Lesser Antirrhinum, Small Catchfly and Field Stachys 
were all recorded by Druce as growing at Finchampstead and these 
species were observed growing in a neglected arable field near 
Fleet Farm, Finchampstead, in the autumn of 1965* 

Members' Records 

Berberis vulgaris L. (Barberry) Henley (VAP) 

Iberis amara L . (Wild Candytuft) Nr. Aston Tirrold (VAP) 

*Heeperis matronalis L. (Dame's Violet) Nr. Harpsden Woods (VAP) 

Hypericum pulchrum L. (Slender St. John's Wort) Chobham (VAP) 



-36- 

Silene gallica L« (Small-flowered Catchfly) Fleet Farm, 

Finchampstead (AMS) 

Spergularia rubra (L.) J. and C. Presl (Sand Spurrey) Top of 

Ashley Hill (AMS) 

Chenopodium rubrum L. (Red Goosefoot) Nr. Kennet, Reading (VAP) 

Radiola lincides Roth (All-seed) Burghfield (VAP) 

Geranium rotundifolium L. (Round leaved Geranium) Hambledon (AMS) 

Oxalis acetosella L. var. subpurpurascens (Wood Sorrel) 
Between Burghfield Common and Mortimer Common. Previously 
recorded from Silchester Common, Pamber Forest area, by 
Dr. Graveley (AMS) 

*Oxalis corniculata L. (Yellow Shamrock) Garden weed, and 
spreading outside Reading (AMS) 

♦Oxalis europaea Jord. (Upright Yellow Sorrel) Garden weed at 
*+2, Alexandra Road, Reading. (VAP) 

* Oxalis incarnata . L. (Wood Sorrel) Found by C. Hardy on NHS 
walk on 2nd April (VAP) 

♦Impatiens parviflora DC. (Small Balsam) Whiteknights Park (VAP) 

Frangula alnus Mill. (Alder Buckthorn) Near Eversley (AMS) 

Genista tinctoria L. (Dyer's Greenweed) Fleet Copse, near 
Finchampstead (AMS) 

*Melilotus alba Medic. (White Melilot) Between Woodley and 

Earley on the verge of a newly made road (AMS); TateJey Common 
(VAP) 

Lotus tenuis Waldst. & Kit. ex Willd. (Slender Birdsfoot-trefoil) 
Chobham (VAP) 

*Tetragonolobus maritimus (L.) Roth (Dragon's tooth) Henley (VAP) 

♦Galeg.^ officinalis L. (Goat's Rue) Between King's Meadow and 
railway line - a garden escape, becoming established (AMS) 

*Coronilla varia L. (Crown Vetch) Well established in an old 
chalk pit, Henley Road (AMS) 



-37- 

Filipendula vulgaris Moench (Dropwort) Nr. Aston Tirrold (VAP) 

*Amelanchier confusa Hyland (June-berry or Snowy Mespilus) 
Ashley Hill (AMS) 

Sorbus torminalis (L.) Crantz (Wild Service Tree) Ashley Hill 
(AMS) 

Drosera intermedia Hftyne (Long-leaved Sundew) Chobham (VAP) 

Daphne laureola L. (Spurge Laurel) Between Medmenham and 
Hambledon (AMS); Whitchurch and Ashley Hill (VAP) 

Thesium humifusum DC. (Bastard Toadflax) Nr. Aston Tirrold (VAP) 

Conium maculatum L. (Hemlock) Kendrick Hill, Reading (AMS) 

Apium inundatum (L.) Reichb. f. (Marshwort) Burghfield (VAP) 

Sis on amomum L. (Stone Parsley) Tilehurst, Little Heath (AMS) 

Euphorbia exigua L. (Dwarf Spurge) Found in stubble off Nunhide 
Lane (VAP) 

Polygonum amphibium L. (Amphibious Bistort) Nr. Kennet, Reading 
(VAP) 

Vaccinium myrtillus L. (Whortleberry or Bilberry) Fovr.i on NHS 
walk, Aldermaston Soke (VAP) 

Monotropa hypopitys L. (Yellow Bird's-nest) Yateley Common (VAP) 

Hottonia palustris L. (Water Violet) Off the Basingstoke Road, 
Reading (VAP) 

Lysimachia nemorum L. (Yellow Pimpernel) Ashley Hill (AMS); 
on NHS walk, Bradfield (VAP) 

Lysimachia nummularia L. (Creeping Jenny) Ashley Hill (AMS) 

Anagallis minima (L.) E. H. L. Krause (Chaffweed) Found on NHS 
walk, Aldermaston Soke (AMS) (See note in introduction to 
this Report) . 

Vinca minor L. (Lesser Periwinkle) Found on NHS walk, Bradfield 
(VAP) 

Cynoglossum officinale L. ( Hound' s-tongue) Whitchurch (VAP) 



-38- 

*Pentaglottis sempervirens (L.) Tausch (Evergreen Alkanet) 
Nr. Winter Hill (AMS); on NHS walk, Bradfield (VAP) 

Atropa bella-donna L. (Deadly Night-Shade) Tilehurst Road, 

Reading, waste ground. Plant removed as potential danger to 
children (AMS); 8 plants in waste land off Bath Road, (VAP) 

*Verbascum phlomoides L. (Mullein) A garden escape growing in 
old gravel pit on Wokefield Common (AMS) 

Veronica anagallis-aquatica L. (Water-Speedwell) Woolhampton 
(AMS) 

Veronica catenata Pennell (Pink Water-Speedwell) Woolhampton (AMS) 

Veronica scutellata L. (Marsh Speedwell) On NHS walk, Aldermaston 
Soke (AMS) 

Utricularia vulgaris L. (Common Bladderwort) Little John's Farm, 
Reading (AMS) 

Stachys arvensis (L.) L. (Field Woundwort) Fleet Farm, 
Finchampstead (AMS) 

Nepeta cataria L. (Catmint) Caversham (AMS) 

Plantago lanceolata L. (Ribwort) Woolhampton; plants with 
multi-heads and leafy stalks (AMS) 

Legousia hybrida (L.) Delarb. (Venus' Looking Glass) Middle 
Assendon (AMS);' off Nunhide Lane (VAP) 

Bidens cernua L. (Nodding Bur-Marigold) Finchampstead Pond (AMS) 

*Galinsoga parviflora Cav. (Gallant Soldier) Waste land, 
Tilehurst (VAP) 

*Galinsoga ciliata (Raf.) Blake (Ragged Soldier) Whiteknights 
Park, Reading (VAP) 

*Doronicum pardalianches L. (Great Leopard 's-bane) Nr. Winter- 
bourne (AMS) 

*Petasites fragrans (Vill.) C. Presl (Winter Heliotrope) 
Nr. the Abbey School, Reading and at Wargrave (VAP) 

Pulicaria vulgaris Gaertn. (Lesser Fleabane) Has appeared 

annually in garden at k-5 Highgrove St., Reading, since being 
accidentally introduced in 1963 (AMS) 



-39- 

Filago minima (Sm.) Pers. (Slender Cudweed) Yateley Common (VAP) 

Solidago virgaurea L. (Golden Rod) Nr. Eversley (AMS) 

Cirsium eriophorum (L.) Scop. (Woolly Thistle) Hemdean Rd., 
Caver sham (VAP) 

*Centaurea jacea L. (Brown-rayed Knapweed) Yateley Common (VAP) 

Serratula tinctoria L. (Saw-wort) Chobham (VAP) 

*Cicerbita macrophylla (Willd.) Wallr. (Blue Sowthistle) Roadside, 
Remenham Hill (sent to Museum for identification) (AMS) 

Sagittaria sagittifolia L. (Arrow-head) Woolhampton (VAP) 

Butomus umbellatus L. (Flowering Rush) Woolhampton' (VAP) 

Hydrocharis morsus-ranae L. (Frogbit) In a ditch at Little 
John's Farm, Reading (AMS). Flowering well. 

Polygonatum multiflorum (L.) All. (Solomon's Seal) Aldermaston 
Soke (VAP) 

*Allium paradoxum (Bieb.) G. Don (Few-flowered Allium) Accidental 
introduction into garden at k$ Highgrove Street, Reading (AMS) 

Leucojum aestivum L. (Loddon Lily or Summer Snowflake) On an 
island, Henley (VAP) 

Narcissus pseudonarcissus L. (Wild Daffodil) A few plants 

between Burghfield Common and Mortimer Common. Also known to 
be at Mann's Farm, Mortimer (AMS) 

Spiran t hes spiralis (L.) Chevall. (Autumn Lady's Tresses) Garden 
at PePpard (VAP) . . 

Listera- ovata (L.) R. Br. (Twayblade) Spinney, Three Mile Cross 
(AMS); Harpsden, nr. Henley (VAP) 

Neottia nidus-avis (L.) Rich. (Bird's-nest Orchid) Wood nr. 
Bisham (AMS) 

Gymnadenia concpsea (L.) R. Br. (Fragrant Orchid) Abundant at 
Hurley chalk pit (BBONT reserve) (AMS) 

Ophrys insectifera L. (Fly Orchid) Goring Heath (VAP) 

Triglochin palustris L. (Marsh Arrow-grass) Little John's Farm 
Reading (A.M.S.). 



-ko- 

Orchis ustulata L. (Burnt Tip, Burnt Orchid, Dark-winged Orchid) 
Nr. Aston Tirrold (VAP) 

Orchis mascula (L.) L. (Early Purple Orchid) Spinney, Three Mils 
Cross (AMS) 

Dactylorchis maculata (L.) Vermeul. (Spotted Orchid) Ashley 
Hill (VAP) 

Anacamptis pyramidalis (L.) Rich. (Pyramidal Orchid) Whitchurch 
(VAP) 

Scirpus setaceus L. (Bristle Scirpus) Found on NHS walk, 
Aldermaston Soke (VAP) 

Eleocharis uniglumis (Link) Schult. (One-glumed Spike Rush) Found 
on NHS walk, Aldermaston Soke (VAP) 

Carex pseudocyperus L. (Cyperus Sedge) Found on NHS walk, 
Aldermaston Soke (VAP) 



THE RECORDER'S REPORT FOR MAMMALS, REPTILES and AMPHIBIA 

1965 - 1966 

By H. H. Carter, M.A. B.Sc. 



CHIROPTERA 

Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Schr.) Pipistrelle 

Seen at Sonning Common 6th June and 29th July; one de&d at 
Hagpits Wood (Sonning Common) 30th July. One near Chalkhouse 
Green 8th September. One at Bradfield Southend, 3rd October. 

INSECTIVORA 

Erinaceus europaeus L. Hedgehog 

17 seen dead on roads in Caversham, Emmer Green and Sonning 
Common, also at Goring, 17th May; Chazey Heath, 29th June; west 
of Newbury, 23rd July; Benson, 27th August; close to the 
Berkshire border at Ham (Hungerford) , 8th August; west of Wantage, 
22nd September. 



-41- 

Sorex araneus L. Common Shrew 

Abundant in the district. I have seen or heard it this 
year at Chalkhouse Green, l6th June; Manor Farm, 11th July; 
Sonning Common, 2nd July and 11th September; Juniper Valley 
(Aston Upthorpe) 9-19th May. 

CARNIVORA 

Meles meles (L.) Badger 

One seen by F.G. in Caversham Park, 10.30 p.m. 23rd August. 
A. M.S. reports that the sett at Whiteknights Park was in use in 
February; Mr. Mason reports a track-way through his and 
adjoining gardens in Christchurch Road, running towards Redlands 
Road, which was presumably made by animals from this sett. His 
dachshund (German for badger-hound, as the breed was once used 
for driving badgers from their setts) was most excited. W.A.N.T. 
saw a baby badger emerge from a sett at the Thames bank of 
Reading Gasworks on 30th January; this is unusually early, as 
cubs are normally born in January at the earliest and remain 
below ground for 8 weeks. C.C.N.H.S. found a dead female 
weighing 33 lb. in Mongewell Park during September 19&5 • E.C.H. 
reports activity at South Lake, Earley, in February. H.M.B. 
reports a sett in Hogtrough Wood (Aston Upthorpe). B.R.B. 
reports a sett at Cray House, Harpsden. I have also seen setts 
in use in Stony Bottom (Peppard Common) and on the borough 
boundary south of Bishopsland Farm (Emmer Green). 

Lutra lutra (L.) Otter 

C.D. saw an otter in the Holy Brook between Circuit Lane 
and the railway bridge on 1st January. (See also under Coypu, 
below, for possible otter at Woodley) . 

Mustela erminea L. Stoat 

One dead on the Peppard Road, Chalkhouse Green, 11th August. 

Mustela nivalis L. Weasel 

One seen crossing Marsh Lane (Sonning Eye) 24th March; one 
dead on Peppard Road at the borough boundary. 

Vulpes vulpes (L.) Fox 

A young vixen was run over at mid-day in Tilehurst during 
the latter part of September, 1965* In the same area, a fox 
invaded C.J.L.'s .garden on three occasions during the last week 
of June, attracted apparently by a Golden Pheasant and other 
birds kept there. 

Fox tracks were seen at Sonning Eye on 19th January; on 
l8th June I found an earth there in a much overgrown hedge 



-Jf2- 

alongside the wood west of the large gravel pit. There were 
several runways leading out southwards through the hedge, and 
trampled areas strewn with feathers of Woodpigeon, a few Rook 
(probably), one of Pheasant, and a leg of a Hare. Close by was 
what appeared to be a badger's latrine pit. Approaching the same 
wood on l6th September from the north, I stopped at a hedge and 
saw in the field beyond a triangular black object which binoculars 
showed to be a fox's ear. The animal was lying among weeds at the 
edge of the field, separated from the wood by a narrow stream. 
From time to time it raised its head to look about it. Taking 
advantage of aircraft passing noisily overhead, I crossed the 
hedge and was able to approach within 20 yards unseen. The fox 
rose to its feet, but only to investigate a possible mouse a few 
feet from where it lay. This proved abortive, and only then did 
the fox turn and see me standing before it. It stared at me for 
a few mom&nts, moving its head from side to side but unable to 
get wind of me, and then leapt across the stream. When I reached 
the spot where it had lain, it was still audible in the undergrowth 
a few yards away, but wl- en I stood on the stream bank it moved 
9 way deeper into the wood. I returned to the gravel pit and walked 
beside it through the eastern edge of the wood, where there are 
badger setts, then skirted the south side of the wood to the site 
of the earth mentioned above. Looking through a gap in the over- 
grown hedge, I was again face to face with a fox, which lost no 
time in making itself scarce. This animal seemed a little stouter 
than the one I had just seen, but my view of it was brief; 
probably the two were one and the same, for foxes are usually 
solitary at this time of year. The second sighting was within a 
few yards of the place where I recorded a fearless fox last year. 

On 15th March I found a complete fox skeleton with a few 
wisps of hair, on which were several ventral scutes (not the cast 
skin, but the underlying scales) of a snake, close to the badger 
sett at Green Dean Wood. In such a situation the snake would 
most probably be an Adder, Vipera berus L. The teeth were those 
of a young fox, which may have been led by inexperience to treat 
the snake without due respect, the outcome being fatal to both. 
I found another fox skeleton close by on 28th Karch. 

ARTIODACTYLA 

Dama dama ( L . ) Fallow Deer 

I saw a fawn a few days old in the road north of Crowsley 
Park on the night of 17th June, about 10 p.m. BST, in the light 
of my car's headlights. It was unable to get through the fence, 
but I chased it on foot to a path up which it escaped. The 
mother was dimly visible en the other side of the fence. B.R.B. 
saw a buck at Fawley Bottom on 30th June. 



-43- 

Muntiacus muntjak (Zimmermann) x reevesi (Ogilvy) Muntjac 

A muntjac shot by Mr. G. Harman at Turville in December 
I965 was probably a hybrid between the above tv species. The 
hairs of the back are individually banded red an black, giving 
a grizzled chestnut effect, shading into foxy red on the rump and 
upper tail. The sides are a lighter brown, the underparts and 
inner sides of the legs pale buff, the rump and underside of the 
tail white. 

LAGOMORPHA 

Lepus capensis L. Brown Hare 

One seen in beechwood NE of Highmoor, February. Many 
records from February to July in the fields beside the Peppard 
Road between Emmer Green and Sonning Common; maximum on 
20th April. Several on the Downs surrounding Juniper Valley 
(Aston Upthorpe) in May. One iead on Bath Road west of Jack's 
Booth, 6th August; Many dead, about, one per mile, on A A-17 from 
Streatley to Wantage, and on Portway beyond Wantage, a few on the 
road from Chieveley to Lambourn, one on the Sheep Drove north of 
Lambourn, all on 22nd September. 

Oryctolagus cuniculus (L.) Rabbit 

Present at Badger sett south of Bishopsland Farm, maximum 6 
on 20th April. One at Cutbush Lane, 10th March. One at Cross 
Farm, l6th March. 16 (Kidmore End). Present at Nuney Green and 
Green Dean Wood (same area) 28th March. 8 at Badger sett by 
Hazelmoor Lane (same area) 13th April. One or more in Hogtrough 
Bottom (Aston Upthorpe) and one juvenile, 9-l8th May. One 
juvenile by A *H? NW of Streatley, one adult dead in same area 
28th-29th June. One dead on A *fl7 near Moulsford, 22nd September, 
2 old and 2 young adults, several young seen by W.P. at Norcot 
Hill (Tilehurst) l*fth July. 2-3 at Stanford Dingley, 20-30 at 
Hawkridge Farm (Frilsham), one at Watlington, l^fth July. 
Present at Berinshill 29th July. 7 at Clayfield Copse (Emmer 
Green) 27th May. Many records from west side of Bishopsland 
Farm (Sonning Common), maximum 6 on 25th April. 

RODENT I A 

Sciurus carolinensis Gmel. Grey Squirrel 

5 records from Sonning Common, 6 from Caversham and Emmer 
Green, January to October. One at Nuney Green (Kidmore End) 
28th March. Seen dead on roads at Calcot 6th August, north of 
Peppard Common, 27th August, east of Crowmarsh, 3rd September. 
One found shot south of Watlington Hill, 2nd October. Dreys 
seen in Bur Wood, and Hagpits Wood (both Sonning Common), New 
Copse (Gallowstree Common), Stony Bottom (Peppard Common) and 
Ufton Park. 



-44- 

Myocastor coypus (Molina) Coypu 

2 footprints in the garden of Mrs. G. M. Smith, at 
4 Campbell Ed., Woodley, reported on 21st January, were thought 
to be of this species, but in fact were probably those of an 
Otter with unusual register (superposition of front and hind 
footmarks) . 

Rattus norvegicus (Berk.) Brown Rat 

Seen crossing Peppard Road near Chalkhouse Green, l6th 
January and 29th June; also dead on same road, same area, 17th 
July, 2nd, 5th and 23rd September* One crossing A 417 at 
Kingstanding Hill, l6th May. Two dead on same road, near 
Moulsford and Cholsey, 22nd September. One dead on road near 
Russell's Water (Nettlebed) 2nd. October. 

Mus musculus L. House-mouse 

One found dead outside Reading Town Hall, 30th June. 

Apodemus sylvaticus (L.) Wood-mouse 

Several caught in Aston Upthorpe Nature Reserve, 10th-20th 
May. All were released. 

Arvicola terrestris (L.) Water-vole 

My records are all from Sonning Eye, where I usually see or 
hear up to 3 on the north bank of the gravel pit. One very 
small juvenile was seen dead there on 13th April. 

Microtus agrestis (L.) Field-vole 

One running along Kennylands Road by Hagpits Wood (Sonning 
Common) 15th May. 

Clethrionomys glareolus (Schr.) Bank-vole 

Dead on Peppard Road near Bishopsland Farm 23rd September. 

REPTILIA 

Vipera berus L. Adder 

Remains, probably of this species, at Green Dean Wood; see 
above under Fox. 

Lacerta vivipara Jacquin Lizard 

One seen by the chalk pit on Peppard Common, first noticed 
by R.J.C., 27th August. 

Anguis fragilis L. Slow Worm 

A pair seen in copula at Aston Upthorpe Nature Reserve by 
A. M.S. on 15th May. One taken in Tilehurst by Mr. R. A. Hopes 
and displayed in the Museum. 



-45- 

AMPHIBIA 

Bufo bufo (L.) Toad 

A female taken on Hill's Meadow, 6th April; now on display- 
in the Museum. One dead in Chiltern Road (Caversham) on 17th 
July. 

Triturus cristatus (Laurenti) Great Crested Newt 

A male taken at Ufton Nervet by Mrs. Newman, seen 10th May. 
A large female (l6o mm. long, weight 16.15 gm.) taken in 
Southcote Manor moat by Michael Parry, 21st February. The largest 
recorded British female was 162 mm. 

Triturus helveticus (Razoumowski) Palmate Newt 

Present in the Oval Pond, Ufton Park, but growth evidently 
very slow; I took there on 21st February an overwintered tadpole, 
with legs and gills, 37 Dim. long and weighing 0.2 gm. , a female, 
not measured, and a male in breeding condition, 6l mm. long 
including tail filament and weighing O.85 grn. The average length 
and weight for adult males are 75.2 mm. and 1.8.? gm. Abundant 
in the pond on Burghfield Common. 

Contributors: H. M. Bowen; B. R. Baker; R. J. Carter; Christopher 
Dyczek; Miss Fiona Gwatkin; E. C. Hemken; C. J. Leeke; Mrs. A. M. 
Simmonds; Carmel College Nat. Hist. Soc | Mrs. W.A. Norman Taylor. 



FUNGI AT KINGWOOD COMMON 19^5-66 

By E. M. Nelmes and L. E. Cobb 

A list of the fungi collected and identified at the 
Society's Forays in 19^-5-57 appeared in the Reading Naturalist 
no. 12. Supplementary lists for the years 1960-65 have appeared 
in the subsequent issues. This year, we present a consolidated 
list incorporating all the species named in the earlier ones, 
together with the new records made at the Foray held on 15th 
October I966. Whereas the earlier lists were arranged 
alphabetically, systematic grouping of genera has been adopted 
for the present one; the order of genera and species remains 
alphabetical. The general classification is that adopted in 
the fifth edition of Ainsworth & Bisley's Dictionary of the 
Fuj^gi (1961) . Dr. F. B. Hora has very kindly identified most 
of the species, and his nomenclature is followed. For the 



-*f6- 

relevant groups, it conforms with that of Dennis, Orton & Hora 
in the New Check List of British Agarics and Boleti (i960). 

Nearly all the species fell into two classes distinguished 
by a microscopic character, the spores being outside the cell 
(basidium) that bears them in Basidiomycetes and within a special 
cell (ascus) in Ascomycetes. Most Ascomycetes are inconspicuous, 
but the group includes the comparatively large and sometimes 
brightly coloured cup-shaped fungi of the genera Peziza and 
Otidea (operculate cup-fungi), as well as morels, saddle fungi 
(Helvella), truffles and candle-snuff ( Xylaria) . The 
Basidiomycetes include the Tremallales ( trembling or jelly fungi), 
which are gelatinous, the Agaricales, most of which are toadstools 
or bracket fungi and the Phallales, (stinkhorns) , Lycoperdales 
(puff balls and earth stars), Sclerodermatales (which include 
earth-balls) and Nidulariales (bird's-nest fungi). The families 
into which the order Agaricales is divided include the Agaricaceae 
(gill fungi), in which the hymenium or spore-producing portion is 
on gills, the Polyporaceae (bracket fungi) and Boletaceae, in 
both of which it is porous, the Hydnaceae, in which it is spread 
over spines, the Clavariaceae (club or coral fungi), in which it 
is smooth and the structure bearing the hymenium (sporophore) is 
club-shaped or branched and the Thelephoraceae, in which the 
hymenium is smooth and the substance of the plant thin. Fungi 
that were described and named when in the vegetative (imperfect) 
stage are contained in the Fungi Imperfecti. The reproductive 
(perfect) stage of most is not known and some do not develop 
one. When it is discovered, the fungus is transferred to the 
appropriate group. 

Notable finds are Clitocybe houghtonii and Phaeolepiota aurea 

ASCOMYCETES 

Hypocreales 

Hypomyces aurantius Leotia lubrica 

roseus 

Nectria cinnabarina 

Sphaeriales 

Hypoxylon coccineum 



Pezizales 



Bulgaria inquinans 

Helvella crispa 

lacunosa 



rubiginosum 

v n . . ., Otidea aurantia 

Xylana hypoxylon aurantiaca 

polymorpha 

_ _ . . _ Peziza badia 

Helotiales 

■' succosa 

Coryne sarcoides vesiculosa 



-V7- 



BASIDIOMYCETES 



Tremellales 

Auricularia auricula-Judae 

Calocera cornea 
viecosa 

Dacrymyces deliquescens 

Tremella mesenterica 

Agaricales 

Thelephoraceae 

Craterellus tornucopioides 

Stereum hirsutum 
purpureum 
rugosum 

Thelephora latiniata 

Clavariateae 

Clavaria amethystina 
cinerea 
cornioulata 
cristata 
fusiforrnis 
fumosa 
inaequalis 
pistillaris 
rugcsa 
stricta 
tenuipes 

Pistillaria quisquilaris 

Sparassis crispa 

crispa laminate 
form 

Hydnaceae 

Hydnum repandum 

var. rufescens 
repandum (pale 
form) 

Irpex obliquus 



Polyporaceae 

Daedalea quercina 

Fomes annosus 

Ganoderma applanatum 

Grifola sulphurea 

Lenzites betulinus 

Merulius tremellosus 

Polyporus adiposus 
adustus 
betulinus 
caesius 
fragilis 
giganteus 
mollis 
perennis 
schweinitzii 
varius 

Polystictus versicolor 

Trametes gibbosa 

rubescens 

Boletaceae 

Boletus badius 
bovinus 
chrysenteron 
edulis 
erythropus 
luridus 
luteus 
piperatus 
pruinatus 
rubellus 
scaber 

subtomentosus 
testaceoscaber 
tridentinus 
variegatus 
versipellis 

Strobilomyces floccopus 



-^8- 



Agaricaceae 

Agaricus (Psalliota) 
campestris 
silvaticus 
silvicola 
xanthodermus 
var. meleagris 

Amanita citrina 

" var. alba 
excelsa 
fulva 
muscaria 
pantherina 
phalloides 
rubescens 

Armillaria mellea 

Asterophora lycoperdoidea 
parasitica 

Bolbitius ritellinus 

Cantharellus cibarius 
cinereus 
tubaef ormis 

Clitocybe clavipes 
ditopus 
flaccida 
houghtonii 
hydrogramma 
infundibulif ormis 
langei 
nebularis 
odora 

Clitcpilus prunulus 

Collybia acervata 
butyracea 
confluens 
dryophila 
erythrcpus 
fusipes 
maeulata 
peronata 
tuberosa 

Coprinus atramentarius 
cinereus 
comatus 



(Coprinus) disseminatus 
hiascens 
micaceus 
picaceus 
plicatilis 

Cortinarius armillatus 

alboviolaceus 

bolaris 

calcchrous 

delibutus 

elatior 

flexipes 

hemitrichus 

hinnuleus 

multiformis 

pseudosalor 

semisanguineus 

torvus 

violaceus 

Crepidotus mollis 

variabilis 

Cystoderma amianthinum 

Flammulina velutipes 

Galerina hypnorum 
mutabilis 

Gymnopilus junonius 

(Pholiota spectabilis) 

Hebeloma crustuliniforme 
longicaudum 
mesophaeum 
sinapizans 
versipelle 

Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca 

Hygrophorus cantharellus 
ceraceus 
chlorophahus 
chrysaspis 
coccineus 
conicus 
dichrous 
eburneus 
miniatus 
nigrescens 
niveus 



-49- 



(Hygrophorus) obrusseus 
pratonsis 
unguinosus 
virgineus 

Hy ph ol oma eplxan t h vm 
fasciou.] are 
subl a t e r i 1 1 urn 

Inocybe asterospora 
geophylla 
hirtella 
rimosa 

Laccaria amethystea 
laccata 

Lacrymaria velutina 

Lactarius blennius 

tamphoratus 

glyciosmus 

hepaticus 

mitissimus 

pallidum 

piperatus 

quietus 

rufus 

serif luus 

subdulcis 

tabidus 

torrainosus 

turpis 

vellereus 

vietus 

Lentinellus cochleatus 

Lepiota castanea 
cristata 
procera 
rhacodes 
sistrata 

Lepista nuda 

aaeva 
sordida 

Ltptonia sericella 

Lyophyllum loricatum 

Marasmius androsaceus 

oreades 



(Marasmius) ramealis 
rotula 
wynnei 

Melancleuca melaleuca 

Mycena acicula 
adonis 
alba 

alcalina 
ammoniac a 
corticola 
epipterygia 
fibula 
filopes 
flavo-alba 
galericulata 
galopus 
inclinata 
leucogala 
olida 

poly gramma 
pura 

sanguinolenta 
speirea 
uracea 

Nolanea papillata 
sericea 

Oudemansiella mucida 

radicata 

panaeolus campanulatus 
papilionaceus 
semiovatus 

Panellus stipticus 

Paxillus involutus 

Phaeolepiota aurea 

Pholiota adiposa 
gummosa 
muelleri 
squarrosa 

Pleurotus ostreatus 

Pluteus cervinus 

phlebophorus 
salicinus 



-50- 



Psathyrella conopilea 
cotonea 
gracilis 
hydrophila 
squamosa 

Psilocybe semilanceata 

Russula adusta 

aeruginea 

albonigra 

atropurpurea 

cyanoxantha 

delica 

densif olia 

fellea 

fragilis 

grisea 

lepida 

mairei 

nigricans 

ochroleuca 

pectinatoides 

pulchella 

rosea 

sardonia 

vesca 

xerampelina 

(and red-stemmed form) 

Schizophyllum commune 

Stropharia aeruginosa 
coronilla 
semiglcbata 
squamosa 

Tricholoma aggregatum 
argyraceum 
cingulatum 
fulvum 



(Tricholoma) lascivum 

saponaceum 

scicdes 

sulphureum 

terreum 

virgatum 

Tricholomopsis platyphylla 
rutilans 

Tubaria furfuracea 

Phallales (Stinkhorns) 
Mutinus oaninus 
Phallus impudicus 

Lycoperdales (Puff-balls and 
Earthstars) 

Calvatia gigantea 

Lycoperdon coelatum 
echinatum 
excipuli forme 
gemma turn 
hyemalis 
perlatum 
pyriforme 
saccatum 

Scleroderma tales 

Scleroderma aurantium 
verrucosum 

Nidulariales 

Crucibulum vulgare 



FUNGI IMPERFECTI 



Moniliales 



Bispora moniloides 



Sepedonium chrysospermum 
Trichoderma viride 



-51- 



GENERAL OBSERVATIONS 



The immature stages of Bufo bufo (L.) 




11* tfc 21 



2& 3>Q 3«* 3* ifZ L+h SO 6± 58 62 teb 1& 



Between 1st and 8th August 19^6, 158 toads were taken in the 
vicinity of Childs Hall, Whiteknights Park, Reading. The graph 
above suggests the sizes of first, second and third year toads 
that may be expected in such a habitat. 

This concentration of toads was due to the food available on 
the disturbed ground and to the great number of sheltering places 
afforded by the debris and building equipment. 

Arthur Price 



-52- 

Destruction of Crocus flowers 

In connection with the studies on nipping-off of Pasque- 
Flower heads at Aston Upthorpe Down, reported on p. 21 in this 
issue, the following observation at Kew Gardens on 12th February 
1966 may be of interest. The flowers concerned in this instance 
were Crocus tomasinianus Herb, or a similar species. A small 
mammal, which I think was a bank-vole ( Clethrionomys glareolus ), 
approached a clump of the flowers, bit one off and disappeared 
with it behind the trunk of a large tree, which presumably 
concealed the entrance to its hole from my view. It then repeated 
the performance until the whole clump of half a dozen blooms had 
been demolished and carried away at the rate of mere than one a 
minute. I have also seen flowers and parts of flowers of Crocus 
purpureus Weston deposited at the entrances to the burrows of 
small rodents in the well-known crocus field at Inkpen Common. 

L. E. Cobb 



Destruction of Pasque-flower blooms 

A plant of the Pasque-flower ( Pulsatilla vulgaris Mill.), 
purchased from a nurseryman and growing in my garden in a western 
suburb of London, produced a few flower buds in the spring of 1966 
but no flowers. Investigation showed that the heads had been 
nipped off, as happens in the B.B.O.N.T. reserve at Aston Upthorpe, 
and had disappeared. The plants along the edge of this border are 
heavily attacked by pigeons, mostly feral but including one or two 
Wood Pigeons ( C olumba palumbus ) , and I had recently seen three 
feral pigeons standing in a row in front of a plant of Alyssum 
saxatile L. there and systematically denuding it of shoots. The 
Pasque-flower grows within a foot of this plant, and I am in no 
doubt that its buds were also destroyed by pigeons. Greenfinches 
( Chloris chloris) , House Sparrows ( Passer domesticus ) and 
Blackbirds ( Turdus merula ) frequent the garden, but do not come 
much to the part where the Pasque-flower is. There are no 
herbivorous mammals . 

E. M. Nelmes 



The natural history °f_mammals 

For most of this century the study of our wild mammals has 
been much neglected. There are various reasons for this. The 
most conspicuous of the land vertebrates are, of course, the 
birds, and many of us know the joys of just watching them. Being 
primarily diurnal, as are ourselves, the secrets of their lives 
are much easier to investigate. Like us, birds are visual 



-53- 

creatures, their sense of sight being of greatest importance. 
But most mammals, unlike ourselves, are not diurnal and are most 
active at night; their actions are largely based on information 
about their environment and fellow creatures gained by their 
sense of smell, which is a sensory system little used by the 
primates. It is largely for these reasons, I think, that so much 
less is known about the natural history of our mammals. 

However, over the past ten years things have been changing. 
The Mammal Society, formed in 195^ and now with a membership of 
750, is one indication of this. Very much remains to be 
discovered - even the distribution of our mammal fauna is very 
imperfectly known. In order to rectify this, the Mammal Society 
in collaboration with the British Museum (Natural History), is 
now operating a National Distribution Scheme. Here, of course, 
information provided by the local natural history societies is of 
vital importance. How widely distributed is the Dormouse, for 
instance? We just don't know. Except for those areas where it 
has been specifically recorded, we can say little. In Victorian 
times a Dormouse was a common childhood pet, and must have been 
relatively abundant, but how many children of today have even 
seen one? Local records are few. The Museum records one 
specimen, trapped indoors in Hagley Road, Reading. Another 
specimen has been reported, found curled up in its nest in a 
patch of rhubarb at Purley in the autumn of 19&5* 

M. G. Hardy 



Effects of oil pollution on Sticklebacks ( Gasterosteus spp.) 

Berry Brook, which flows from Caversham to the Thames at 
Shiplake, normally holds a large population of Sticklebacks, 
mainly Gasterosteus aculeatus L. with a few G. pungitius L. 
The stretch immediately below Marsh Lane will usually yield 15 
or 20 specimens in half an hour's netting. 

On 21st February this year I found the brook heavily 
polluted with floating oil. In half an hour I was able to find 
only k fish, 3 of them being G. pungitius . It appears therefore 
that this species was not affected, but that virtually all the 
G. aculeatus had died or emigrated. 

H. Carter 



-5*- 



Plants in Abbey Square, Reading 



A rather steep concrete bank in Abbey Square, Reading, 
constructed 2-3 years ago, has been sparsely colonised by 
the following species of plants. Annuals, biennials and 
perennials are indicated by the abbreviations A, B and P, 
respectively. 



Sonchus oleraceus L. 
Conyza canadensis (L. ) 



Eupatorium cannabinum L. 

Epilobium montanum L . 
and other spp. 

Festuca rubra L. ? 

Agrostis stolonifera L. 

Chrysanthemum parthenium ( L . ) 

Senecio squalidus L. 



A, but young plants 
apparently over- 
winter and thus 
behave as B. 



P 
P 

B or short-lived P. 

A, but behaving as B or 
P. 



Seedlings of all these species were present in abundance in 
December 19&6, and one wonders how many of them will manage to 
survive the winter. 

The following mosses were also present: 

Bryum argent eum Hedw. 
Tortula sp. 

A. M. Simmonds 



ERRATUM The Reading Naturalist No. 18. 

Page 17. The last sentence should read : 

However, it should not be overlooked that some Devon farmers mate 

their ewes to lamb as early as November. 



-55- 

MEMBERSHIP LIST 

Honorary Members 

Dolton, H. L., 36 Chester Street, Reading. 

Hastings, Somerville, M.B., M.S., F.R.C.S., Brackenfell, Kingwood 

Common, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon. 
Hawkins, Prof. H. L. , D.Sc, F.R.S., F.G.S., 63 Tilehurst Road, 

Reading. 
Quick, Dr. H. E., B.Sc, F.R.C.S., Craythorne, 259 Shinfield Road, 

Reading. 
Vear, T. t 13^ Shinfield Road, Reading. 

Ordinary and Junior Members 

Abbott, T., Blue Trees, Parkway Drive, Sonning-on-Thames , Berks. 

Allen, Prof. P., Dept. Geology, The University, Reading. 

Ashwell, Mrs. K. M. , 7 Woodland Drive, Tilehurst, Reading. 

Baker, B. R., B.Sc, F.M.A., F.R.E.S., 71a Berkeley Avenue, Reading, 

Baker, Mrs. H., it « 11 ti 

Baker, Mark, » » " » 

Balfour, A. P., F.L.S., V.M.H., H- Baskerville Avenue, Sonning 

Common, Oxon. 
Beesley^ A.* 27 Western Elms Avenue,- Reading. 
Bentall, Mrs., ikk Upper Woodcote Road, Caversham, Reading. 
Bentall, Miss, » " » »' " » 

Bernard, Miss B. , 10 Deepdene Close, Reading. 
Blackwell, Mrs. E. R. , 8l Wilderness Road, Reading. 
Bowden, J., A-19 Wokingham Road, Earley, Reading. 
Bowden, Mrs. E., " " " " 

Bowen, H. J. M., M.A., D.Phil., 20 Winchester Road, Oxford. 
Bramall , Mrs. A. M. K., Burden Cottage, Sonning, Berks. 
Brooke, Miss R. A., 107 Ambrook Road, Whitley Wood, Reading. 
Brown, G. R. , *fl Donnington Road, Reading. 

Brown, Miss R. M., Berin's Ridge, Lower Basildon, Reading. 
Bull, G. A., 12 Warwick Road, Reading. 
Bull, Mrs., »• " " m 
Bunting, Prof. A. H., M.Sc , Dept. Agricultural Botany, The 

University, Reading. 
Burnop, Miss L., l^f Kendrick Road, Reading. 

Bustin, Miss J. M., 2 Stoneham Close, Cockney Hill, Reading. 
Butler, Miss J. S., 14 Salcombe Road, Reading. 
Butler, Miss K. I., 5^ Alexandra Road, Reading. 

Carter, H. H. , M.A., B.Sc, A.M. A., 82 Kennylands Road, Sonning 

Common, Oxon. 
Chandy, Mrs. A., Clarence Lodge, 93 London Road, Reading. 
Chapman, Mrs. J. H., 3 Avalon Road, Earley, Reading. 
Chavasse, Rev. S. E. , l8 College Road, Reading. 
Clark, Miss S. J., 7 Buckland Road, Whitley, Reading. 



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Clements, Mrs. K., 108 Kenilwcrth Avenue, Reading. 

Clements, Miss M. J. W. f " " " 

Cobb, Miss L. E., B.A., 55 Northcourt Avenue, Reading. 

Cole, J. A., B.A., M.Sc, 30 Nicholas Road, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon. 

Cole, Mrs., B.A., " " " » " " " 

Cooke, Mrs. A.Gresham, Turgis Court, Stratfield Turgis, 

Basingstoke, Hants. 
Cooper, J. E., Quantocks, New Wokingham Road, Crowthorne, Berks. 
Corral, L. N. , Bradenham Cottage, Blakes Road, W&rgrave, Berks. 
Corral, Mrs., " " " " '• " 
Cotterell, Mrs. N., Giles Farm, Stoke Row, Oxon. 
Dengate, Miss A. M. , 8l Wilderness Road, Earley, Reading. 
Dowman, Miss I., 52 Vine Crescent, Burghfield Road, Reading. 
Dyczek, Christopher, 2k Anstey Road, Reading. 
Eagar, S., 76 Redhatch Drive, Earley, Reading. 
Ellis, Dr. M. L. , M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., Rose Cottage, Lower 

Wokingham Road, Crowthorne, Berks. 
Erith, Miss A. G., B.Sc, Ph.D., 70 Highmoor Road, Caversham, 

Reading. 
Fade, Mrs. L. M., 5 Chester Street, Caversham, Reading. 
Fishenden, Dr. Margaret, 2 Cleevemede, Cleeve Road, Goring-on- 

Thames, Reading. 
Flack, Miss 0., 198 Reading Road, Wokingham, 
Fletcher, M. V., B.A., 70 South Street, Reading. 
Fletcher, Mrs. I., » " " " 

Frank, Mrs. C. M., Netherliegh, Riverview Road, Pangbourne, Berks. 
Fraser, W. S., F.L.S., F.R.M.S., F.C.S., Maple Cottage, Oxford Road, 

Tilehurst, Reading. 
Fraser, Mrs., " " " 

Freeland, J., 26 Wellington Road, Wokingham, Berks. 
Freeland, Mrs., " " " »' 
Fulford, Mrs. W. E., 10 Morlands Avenue, Bath Road, Reading. 
Gambles, R. M., West Warren, Warren Road, Woodley, Reading. 
Gambles, Mrs., M " " " " " 
Gibb, Mrs. M. D., B.Sc, 3 Heath Close, Wokingham, Berks. 
Gibson, Mrs. K. E., The Hermitage, Victoria Road, Mortimer, Reading. 
Goldring, Dr. R., 4 Falstaff Avenue, Earley, Reading.. 
Goldring, Mrs. A. B., B.A., " " " " 

Greenup, Miss R. B., Ashton, Heatherdene Avenue, Crowthorne, Berks. 
Gwatkin, T. L. , M.A., lk Courtenay Drive, Eimner Green, Reading. 
Hall, Mrs. M. E. , B.Sc, Garter House, St. John's Road, Mortimer, 

Nr. Reading. 
Harding, Mrs. J. C, Ph.D., Bellapais, 31 Folder's Lane, 

Bracknell, Berks. 
Harding, Christopher P., " " " " " M 
Hardy, M.'G., M.A., Dept . Zoology, The University, Reading. 
Harper, R. E. , 6 Fernbrook Road, Caversham, Reading. 
Harris, Prof. T. M., M.A., F.R.S., F.L.S. , Dept . Botany , 

The University, Reading. 



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Hawkins , Mrs. P.E. L., Heather Ways, Wellington College, Berks. 

Hawkins, Mrs., 63 Tilehurst Road, Reading. 

Haycock, Miss M., Flat 1^, 12 Brunswick Street, Reading. 

Heather, F. L., 6 Pembroke Place, Caversham, Reading. 

Heather, Mrs. V., " " " " 

Hilder, E. A., Cedar Cottage, Wiltshire Avenue, Crowthorne, Berks. 

Hilder, Mrs., »• " " " " " 

Hinton, G. G., 215 Reading Road, Wokingham, Berks. 

Homer, T. J. H., M.A., 39 Marmyon House, Phyllis Court Drive, 

Henley-on-Thames, Oxon. 
Hope, Miss V.A., Dundaff House, Rectory Road, Wokingham, Berks. 
Housden, Mrs. H. V., 9 Knowle Close, Upper Woodcote Road, 
Plousden, 2ti.se J.M.V., B.Sc, " " Mapledurham, Reading. 
levers, S. E., 26 Kidmore Road, Caversham, Reading. 
Irvin, A. D. t M.A., Vet.M.'B., M.R.C.V.S., InstitutefC'F Rese-rch 

in Animal Diseases, Compton, Newbury, Berks. 
Jones, Mrs. J. D., Oakbank, Tanners Lane, Chalkhouse Green, 

Reading. 
Kemp, B. R., B.A., Ph.D., 62 Grosvenor Road, Caversham, Reading. 
Lambden, Mrs. H. D., B.Sc, 7^ Beech Lane, Earley, Reading. 
Lapienska, Miss Linda, 22 Talbot Close, Caversham, Reading. 
Lappin, G., %5 Gloucester Road, Reading. 
Larkin, D. W. , 79 Southview Avenue, Caversham, Reading. 
Lawton, F., 20 Fawcett Crescent, Woodley, Reading. 
Leatherdale, D., F.L.S., F.R.E.S., Eastfield Lodge, Whitchurch, 

Oxon. 
Le Besque, Miss J. M. , 23 Crown Lane, Theale, Berks. 
Leeke, C. J., B.Sc, A. M.I. Biol., 1 Heathway, Chapel Hill, 

Tilehurst, Reading. 
Leggett, Miss J., B.Sc., 7 Addington Road, Reading. 
Levy, B. G., B.A., Ph.D., Southridge House, Streatley, Berks. 
Loam, Miss I., 72 Recreation Road, Tilehurst, Reading. 
Lockwood, Mrs., 20 Drayton Road, Reading. 
Lukin, Mrs. R., Lockram House, Nr. Mortimer, Berks. 

Lush, Miss G. M. , 32 Matthews Green Road, Wokingham, Berks. \ 

McKenzie, Mrs. I., B.Sc, Penard, Elvendon Road, Goring-on- • 

Thames, Oxon. 
Major, Mrs. J., 2 Eldon Road, Reading. 

Mason, Miss D., 21 Alpha House, Kendrick Road, Reading. 
Mayhew, Miss V. C, 36 Grove Road, Sonning Common, Oxon.'" 
Meikle, Mrs. M., Upcott, Wellington College, Crowthorne, Berks. 
Mesg»t«r, Miss J. M. , 33 Coley Hill, Reading. 
Moon, A. E., F.R.Met.S., 1 Eldon Road, Reading. 
Moore, Miss E. , Ik Queens Road, Rea.ding. 

Moore, Mrs. M.L., 26 Shepherds Lane, Mapledurham, Reading. 
Nannery, T., Shoreditch Training College, Coopers Kill, 

Englefield Green, Egham, Surrey. 
Nelmes, Miss E.M., M.A., 27 Westbourne Avenue, Acton, London, W.3« 



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Newman, J. F, , B.Sc, F.R.E.S., Earley Cottage, 25 Beech Lane, 

Earley, Reading. 
Newman, Mrs. B. M., B.Sc, " " " " 
Newman, John, " " " " 

Nussey, Keith, 135 Kentwood Hill, Tilehurst, Reading. 
Owen, Dr. H., Dept. Agricultural Botany, The University, Reading, 
Padley, F. C, 2 Eldon Place, Reading. 
Parkinson, Miss I. N. , B.A., 10 Fern Close, Goring-on-Thames, 

Reading. 
Paul, Mrs. V. N., B.Sc, Overdale, Peppard Common, Oxon. 
Pearce, E. , 9 Amity Road, Reading. 
Pearce, Mrs . , " M " 
Pearman, M. A., St. Patrick's Hall, Reading. 
Pearse, Miss M., 6 Bishops Road, Reading. 
Percy, H. D., 2 Matthew's Green Road, Wokingham, Berks. 
Percy, Mrs., » " " " " •' 
Phillips, Mrs. V. A., k2 Alexandra Road, Reading. 
Phillips, Miss Tessa, " " " « 
Pilford, R., York House, 29 Reading Road, Woodley, Reading. 
Plowright, H. R., A.I.S.T., 12 Rotherfield Avenue, Wokingham, 

Berks. 
Plowright, Mrs., " " " " " 

Pointon, E. F., 63 Whiteknights Road, Reading. 
Point on, Mrs., " » " « 

Poole, Mrs. C, Little Martin's, Fair Mile, Henley-on-Thames, 

Oxon. 
Price, A., 6 Mansfield Road, Reading. 
Price, Mrs. A., 1 Bulmershe Road, Reading. 
Price, Miss Rosemary, " " " 
Price-Jones, Dr. D., 82 Shinfield Road, Reading. 
Price-Jones, Mrs., " " " " 
Quartermain, T., 8 Bridge Street, Caversham, Reading. 
Quart ermain, Mrs. A., " " " ™ 
Read, J. D., *f8 Coronation Square, Southcote, Reading. 
Read, Mrs. J. A., " " " " 

Reynolds, Miss D., 26 Shepherd's Lane, Mapledurham, Reading. 
Rhodes, J., N.D.H., 65 Tilehurst Road, Reading. 
Rhodes, Mrs., B.Sc, " " " " 
Roffey, Mrs. B. J., 126 Cockney Hill, Reading. 
Ropner, Miss M. E., 15 Cockney Hill, Tilehurst, Reading. 
Round, B. D., B.A., 10 Orchard Close, Woolhampton, Reading. 
Round, Mrs., " " " " " 

Round, Master, " " " " " 

Rowe, Miss S., 26 Whitley Wood Road, Reading. 
Scott, Miss 0. D., 199 Hall's Road, Tilehurst, Reading. 
Severn, Lady, Winterbrook Lodge, Wallingford, Berks. 
Shelah, Miss H. R., 165 St. Peter's Road, Reading. 



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Simmonds, Mrs. A. M., V? Highgrove Street, Reading. 

Smith, Miss J. Robson, 9 Maitland Road, Reading. 

Street, Mrs. H. A., Vienna, New Road, Holyport , Maidenhead, 

Berks. 
Swadling, Miss M. M., F.L.A., Berin's Ridge, Lower Basildon, 

Reading. 
Taylor, Mrs. W. A. Norman, lkj> London Road, Reading. 
Thiel, Mrs. H. M., Torbreck, Oatlands Road, Shinfield, Reading. 
Timmins, J. E., 65 Fairway Avenue, Tilehurst, Reading. 
Timmins, Mrs. M., " " " " 
Timmins, Miss Judith, " " " " 
Timpson, F. E., 53 Kidmcre End Road, Emmer Green, Reading. 
Timpson, Miss Ruth, " " » " " " 
Tobias, Miss J. M., 17 Ramsbury Drive, Earley, Reading. 
Tofield, Mrs. 0., Ingaro, Stuart Road, Wash Common, Newbury, 

Berks. 
Toothill, Dr. Joyce, 15 Birdhill Avenue, Reading. 
Townend, Miss S. Y., B.Sc, 71 Berkeley Avenue, Tilehurst, 

Reading. 
Trembath, Mrs., 5 Thames Avenue, Pangbourne, Berks. 
Trickett, Miss S., kk Inglewood Court, Liebenrood Road, Reading. 
Vear, J. R., 13^ Shinfield Road, Reading. 
Vincent, S., Woodlands, Cockney Hill, Reading. 
Vincent, Mrs., " " " " 
Vincent, Malcolm, " " " 
Vincent, W. R. , Cray House, Harpsden Woods, Henley-on-Thames, 

Oxon. 
Vincent, Mrs. V., " " " » " " " " 
Vincent, Charles P., 
Vincent, Louise, " 
Waight, Miss F. M. 0., F.L.S., 139 St. Peter's Road, Earley, 

Reading. 
Ward, J. A., Gillotts Cottage, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon. 
Warman, Miss A. T., 39 Winton Road, Reading. 
Watson, E. V., B.Sc, Ph.D., F.L.S., Little Court, Cleeve, 

Goring-on-Thames , Oxon. 
Watson, Miss J. M., 30 Westwocd Road, Tilehurst, Reading. 
Watts, Miss L., Crumplehorn Cottage, Inkpen Common, Berks. 
Weeks, L. H., B.Sc. (Econ.), ^21 Wokingham Road, Earley, Reading, 
Weeks, Mrs. J., .... n it 11 

Wilkins, Miss J., B.S*., 19^ Reading Road, Wokingham, Berks. 
Williams, L. H., B.Sc, Ph.D., 389 Valley Drive, Gravesend, Kent, 
Williams, Mrs. R. D., 22 New Road, Reading. 
Williams, Susan, " » « " 
Winter, R. L., B.Sc. (Econ.), A.C.A., 19 Courtenay Drive, Emmer 

Green, Reading. 
Wright, J. 0., B.Sc, University of Reading Agricultural Botany 

Garden, Cutbush Lane, Shinfield, Berks. 



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Schools 



Abbey School, Kendrick Road, Reading. 

Alfred Sutton Girls' School, Cumberland Road, Reading. 

Carmel College Natural History Society, Carmel College, Mongewell 

Park, Wallingford, Berks. 
E. P. Collier Central School, York Road, Reading. 
Forest School, (The Biology Society), Robinhocd Lane, Winnersh, 

Berks. 
Henley Grammar School, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon. 
Kendrick School, London Road, Reading. 
Leighton Park School, Shinfield Road, Reading. 
Reading School, Erleigh Road, Reading. 
Redlands Primary School, Lydford Road, Reading. 
Reading Technical College (The Science Department), King's Road, 

Reading. 
Southlands Girls* School, Basingstoke Road, Reading. 
Whitley Park Junior School, Basingstoke Road, Reading.